Libyan War Means Yet More Immigration

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As well as the human and financial cost of the immoral Libyan War, the conflict is also resulting in increased numbers of immigrants fleeing North Africa for Southern Europe. 

The war has led to a collapse of controls of African economic migrants leaving the coastlines of North Africa in boats bound for the nearest territory that gets them illegally into Europe.

The Italian island of Lampedusa is the target for many, with boats carrying 15,000 immigrants landing on the tiny island since the Tunisian riots in January, greatly outnumbering its indigenous inhabitants.

Eighteen hundred more arrived in Sicily on a stolen Libyan ferry that had initially been refused permission to land in Malta. 

As expected, the European Union’s reaction has been to criticise national governments for denying the illegal immigrants immediate access to Europe. After 41 drowned when their boat capsized off Tunisia, Eurocrats complained that the tragedy was caused because boats of immigrants were being turned away from European ports. They now want more African immigrants to be given access to the European Union.  

Yesterday, Italian authorities shipped 1,200 North Africans to other parts of Italy. Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni is putting together proposals for Italian regions to take up to 50,000 migrants if there is a sudden influx from Libya. 

Italian ministers have urged other EU countries to take a greater share of the immigrants that are arriving on its shores.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said many of the immigrants arriving in Italy are not fleeing political persecution but are motivated by economic reasons.

One ray of common sense was provided by Front National leader Marine Le Pen, who recently visited Lampedusa. She said: "If we encourage illegal immigration, if we authorise illegal immigrants to set foot on European soil, how many more will embark on these adventures and how many more will lose their lives?"

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