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Countries like the US, England, France, Spain and Germany are about 9-10 days behind in the COVID-19 progression. For our benefit, the video channel called "A THING BY" asked Italians to record a message they wish had heard 10 days prior. Let's take careful note of what they have to say.
This little-known documentary contains rare and compelling footage of Greek villages and Greek partisans during World War 2. It also interviews male and female partisans who survived a series of international betrayals. In 1940 Mussolini attacked Greece from its colony of Albania. The attack was repulsed and the Greeks conquered one third of Albania in their counter attacks. At the time, Greece was Britain's only ally against Nazi Germany in Europe. (France Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Luxumbourg had all been conquered.) Four years later, Britain savagely turned on the same heroic Greeks who had resisted the Italians and subsequently fought against their Nazi German-allied occupiers. It was only possible for the British to succeed because the communist ELAS-Partisans trusted the Greek Communist Party (KKE).
After they landed in October 1944, the British pretended to arrest former Greek collaborators and saved them from furious Greek crowds in Athens. The former collaborators were 'imprisoned' in a hotel overlooking the central Athens. During one of the protests by Athenians against the British, the 'arrested' former collaborators opened fire on the Athenian crowds, killing many.
This provoked a ferocious fightback against the British by the ELAS-Partisans. So fierce was their fight that the British were forced to get reinforcements from the Italian front and from Belgium, where they were fighting the German Ardennes offensive. However, the communist Greek KKE, under Stalin's orders, then agreed to completely disarm and return to their homes in the suburbs of Athens and elsewhere. This was under the pretext of recognising the British puppet forces as the legitimate national Greek army.
In the suburbs of Athens many former ELAS fighters became victims of gangs of former collaborators. Many ELAS fighters were imprisoned by the British and their puppets.
In 1946 those ELAS fighters who had fled to the mountains, and many more, who had escaped from Greece, restarted the civil war against the Greek dictatorship. From 1946-1948 the ELAS partisans (who had changed their name to the Democratic Army). With heroism and brilliant leadership, they outfought superior numbers of government forces, with many from the government forces defecting to the Democratic Army. However, the Greek Government started to overcome the Democratic Army, now with the aid of United States military 'advisors' and the CIA, and from the same source, the provision of war planes capable of dropping napalm, a fearsome new weapon of the time. The Democratic Army was further hamstrung by instructions from the KKE leadership to engage in conventional warfare rather than guerilla warfare, thus enabling the government to more effectively use its numerical and logistic superiority against the Democratic Army partisans. The fighting ended in 1949, when the last of the Democratic Army partisans fled across the border into Albania. From Albania, many were granted 'exile' in the Soviet Union.
This news was sent by Marinella Correggia, of the No War Network. The Italian Committee to end the EU sanctions against Syria https://bastasanzioniallasiria.wordpress.com/ was created 15 days ago by a group of Italian activists. See also the video in English (and in other languages) embedded below. Shamefully, European Union sanctions against Syria were renewed for one year, yesterday. People who want Syria to survive should not take this lying down.
A huge group of Syrian religious people launched a vibrant call to European Parliamentarians, mayors and people, in English see here: https://bastasanzioniallasiria.wordpress.com/english/. (see also the other languages on the web page)
On the basis of this call, the Committee launched the Campaign to end the sanctions. Part of that is a petition on Change, which everybody in the world can sign here (the petitionis in Italian but the text is the same than the call of the religious people which you can find in English): https://www.change.org/p/parlamentari-sindaci-basta-sanzioni-alla-siria-e-ai-siriani
The Nobel Peace Laureate Maired Maguire signed the petition and supported the end of EU/USS sanctions it with a communiqué https://bastasanzioniallasiria.wordpress.com/il-premio-nobel-per-la-pace-aderisce-alla-
Also Italian MPs of differents groups issued a resolution towards the Italian government.
We are trying to get the European governments aware of this mobilization. It is enough that one country opposes the renewal and the EU sanctions will be dropped! If anyone of you is close to some politicians/governments, please contact them.
A few hundred protesters gathered outside the Ukrainian embassy in Rome on Saturday to protest against the rise of fascism in Ukraine and Europe. The event was organized by well-known journalist Julietto Kieza.
Kieza told Ruptly that he maintains that the "so-called revolution in Euromaidan has been paid straightly by the United States" and that for the first time since World War II, "Nazism reappears in the center of Europe with the aid of the United States."
Demonstrators came out to express a similar view. Protesters held up signs depicting Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko as Hitler, and telling NATO to "go away."
One of the banners said: "No to the Nazi coup d'etat in Ukraine" in Italian.
Quantitative Easing for the People: Default on the Public Debt, Nationalize the Banks, and a Dividend for Citizens
It turns out comedian Beppe Grillo does have a plan for Italy... and though some is silly, there's lots to like.
Comedian Beppe Grillo was surprised himself when his Five Star Movement got 8.7 million votes in the Italian general election of February 24-25th. His movement is now the biggest single party in the chamber of deputies, says The Guardian, which makes him "a kingmaker in a hung parliament."
Grillo's is the party of "no." In a candidacy based on satire, he organized an annual "V Day Celebration," the "V" standing for vaffanculo ("f--k off"). He rejects the status quo--all the existing parties and their monopoly control of politics, jobs, and financing--and seeks a referendum on all international treaties, including NATO membership, free trade agreements and the Euro.
"If we get into parliament," says Grillo, "we would bring the old system down, not because we would enjoy doing so but because the system is rotten." Critics fear, and supporters hope, that if his party succeeds, it could break the Euro system.
But being against everything, says Mike Whitney in Counterpunch, is not a platform:
To govern, one needs ideas and a strategy for implementing those ideas. Grillo's team has neither. They are defined more in terms of the things they are against than things they are for. It's fine to want to "throw the bums out", but that won't put people back to work or boost growth or end the slump. Without a coherent plan to govern, M5S could end up in the political trash heap, along with their right-wing predecessors, the Tea Party. Steve Colatrella, who lives in Italy and also has an article in Counterpunch on the Grillo phenomenon, has a different take on the surprise win. He says Grillo does have a platform of positive proposals. Besides rejecting all the existing parties and treaties, Grillo's program includes the following: It is a platform that could actually work. Austerity has been tested for a decade in the Eurozone and has failed, while the proposals in Grillo's plan have been tested in other countries and have succeeded. Default: Lessons from Iceland and South America Default on the public debt has been pulled off quite successfully in Iceland, Argentina, Ecuador, and Russia, among other countries. Whitney cites a clip from Grillo's blog suggesting that this is also the way out for Italy: The public debt has not been growing in recent years because of too much expenditure . . . Between 1980 and 2011, spending was lower than the tax revenue by 484 billion (thus we have been really virtuous) but the interest payments (on the debt of 2,141 billion) that we had to pay in that period have made us poor. In the last 20 years, GDP has been growing slowly, while the debt has exploded. . . . [S]peculators . . . are contributing to price falls so as to bring about higher interest rates. It's the usurer's technique. Thus the debt becomes an opportunity to maximize earnings in the market at the expense of the nation. . . . If financial powerbrokers use speculation to increase their earnings and force governments to pay the highest possible interest rates, the result is recession for the State that's in debt as well as their loss of sovereignty. . . . There are alternatives. These are being put into effect by some countries in South America and by Iceland. . . . The risk is that we are going to reach default in any case with the devaluation of the debt, and the Nation impoverished and on its knees. [Beppe Grillo blog] Bank Nationalization: China Shows What Can Be Done Grillo's second proposal, nationalizing the banks, has also been tested and proven elsewhere, most notably in China. In an April 2012 article in The American Conservative titled "China's Rise, America's Fall," Ron Unz observes: During the three decades to 2010, China achieved perhaps the most rapid sustained rate of economic development in the history of the human species, with its real economy growing almost 40-fold between 1978 and 2010. In 1978, America's economy was 15 times larger, but according to most international estimates, China is now set to surpass America's total economic output within just another few years. According to Eamonn Fingleton in In The Jaws of the Dragon (2009), the fountain that feeds this tide is a strong public banking sector: Capitalism's triumph in China has been proclaimed in countless books in recent years. . . . But . . . the higher reaches of its economy remain comprehensively controlled in a way that is the antithesis of everything we associate with Western capitalism. The key to this control is the Chinese banking system . . . [which is] not only state-owned but, as in other East Asian miracle economies, functions overtly as a major tool of the central government's industrial policy. Guaranteed Basic Income--Not Just Welfare Grillo's third proposal, a guaranteed basic income, is not just an off-the-wall, utopian idea either. A national dividend has been urged by the "Social Credit" school of monetary reform for nearly a century, and the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network has held a dozen annual conferences. They feel that a guaranteed basic income is the key to keeping modern, highly productive economies humming. In Europe, the proposal is being pursued not just by Grillo's southern European party but by the sober Swiss of the north. An initiative to establish a new federal law for an unconditional basic income was formally introduced in Switzerland in April 2012. The idea consists of giving to all citizens a monthly income that is neither means-tested nor work-related. Under the Swiss referendum system of direct democracy, if the initiative gathers more than 100,000 signatures before October 2013, the Federal Assembly is required to look into it. Colatrella does not say where Grillo plans to get the money for Italy's guaranteed basic income, but in Social Credit theory, it would simply be issued outright by the government; and Grillo, who has an accounting background, evidently agrees with that approach to funding. He said in a presentation available on YouTube: A basic income guarantee paid for with central bank credit would not be "welfare" but would eliminate the need for welfare. It would be social security for all, replacing social security payments, unemployment insurance, and welfare taxes. The Bank of Italy a private join-stock company, ownership comprises 10 insurance companies, 10 foundations, and 10 banks, that are all joint-stock companies . . . They issue the money out of thin air and lend it to us. It's the State who is supposed to issue it. We need money to work. The State should say: "There's scarcity of money? I'll issue some and put it into circulation. Money is plentiful? I'll withdraw and burn some of it." . . . Money is needed to keep prices stable and to let us work. The Key to a Thriving Economy Major C.H. Douglas, the thought leader of the Social Credit movement, argued that the economy routinely produces more goods and services than consumers have the money to purchase, because workers collectively do not get paid enough to cover the cost of the things they make. This is true because of external costs such as interest paid to banks, and because some portion of the national income is stashed in savings accounts, investment accounts, and under mattresses rather than spent on the GDP. To fill what Social Crediters call "the gap," so that "demand" rises to meet "supply," additional money needs to be gotten into the circulating money supply. Douglas recommended doing it with a national dividend for everyone, an entitlement by "grace" rather than "works," something that was necessary just to raise purchasing power enough to cover the products on the market. In the 1930s and 1940s, critics of Social Credit called it "funny money" and said it would merely inflate the money supply. The critics prevailed, and the Social Credit solution has not had much chance to be tested. But the possibilities were demonstrated in New Zealand during the Great Depression, when a state housing project was funded with credit issued by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the nationalized central bank. According to New Zealand commentator Kerry Bolton, this one measure was sufficient to resolve 75% of unemployment in the midst of the Great Depression. Bolton notes that this was achieved without causing inflation. When new money is used to create new goods and services, supply rises along with demand and prices remain stable; but the "demand" has to come first. No business owner will invest in more capacity or production without first seeing a demand. No demand, no new jobs and no economic expansion. The Need to Restore Economic Sovereignty The money for a guaranteed basic income could be created by a nationalized central bank in the same way that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand did it, and that central bank "quantitative easing" (QE) is created out of nothing on a computer screen today. The problem with today's QE is that it has not gotten money into the pockets of consumers. The money has gotten--and can get--no further than the reserve accounts of banks, as explained here and here. A dividend paid directly to consumers would be "quantitative easing" for the people. A basic income guarantee paid for with central bank credit would not be "welfare" but would eliminate the need for welfare. It would be social security for all, replacing social security payments, unemployment insurance, and welfare taxes. It could also replace much of the consumer debt that is choking the private economy, growing exponentially at usurious compound interest rates. As Grillo points out, it is not the cost of government but the cost of money itself that has bankrupted Italy. If the country wishes to free itself from the shackles of debt and restore the prosperity it once had, it will need to take back its monetary sovereignty and issue its own money, either directly or through its own nationalized central bank. If Grillo's party comes to power and follows through with his platform, those shackles on the Italian economy might actually be released. Ellen Brown
Ellen Brown developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In Web of Debt, her latest of eleven books, she turns those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and "the money trust." She shows how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. She is president of the Public Banking Institute, http://PublicBankingInstitute.org, and has websites at http://WebofDebt.com and http://EllenBrown.com.
To govern, one needs ideas and a strategy for implementing those ideas. Grillo's team has neither. They are defined more in terms of the things they are against than things they are for. It's fine to want to "throw the bums out", but that won't put people back to work or boost growth or end the slump. Without a coherent plan to govern, M5S could end up in the political trash heap, along with their right-wing predecessors, the Tea Party.
Steve Colatrella, who lives in Italy and also has an article in Counterpunch on the Grillo phenomenon, has a different take on the surprise win. He says Grillo does have a platform of positive proposals. Besides rejecting all the existing parties and treaties, Grillo's program includes the following:
It is a platform that could actually work. Austerity has been tested for a decade in the Eurozone and has failed, while the proposals in Grillo's plan have been tested in other countries and have succeeded.
Default: Lessons from Iceland and South America
Default on the public debt has been pulled off quite successfully in Iceland, Argentina, Ecuador, and Russia, among other countries. Whitney cites a clip from Grillo's blog suggesting that this is also the way out for Italy:
The public debt has not been growing in recent years because of too much expenditure . . . Between 1980 and 2011, spending was lower than the tax revenue by 484 billion (thus we have been really virtuous) but the interest payments (on the debt of 2,141 billion) that we had to pay in that period have made us poor. In the last 20 years, GDP has been growing slowly, while the debt has exploded.
. . . [S]peculators . . . are contributing to price falls so as to bring about higher interest rates. It's the usurer's technique. Thus the debt becomes an opportunity to maximize earnings in the market at the expense of the nation. . . . If financial powerbrokers use speculation to increase their earnings and force governments to pay the highest possible interest rates, the result is recession for the State that's in debt as well as their loss of sovereignty.
. . . There are alternatives. These are being put into effect by some countries in South America and by Iceland. . . . The risk is that we are going to reach default in any case with the devaluation of the debt, and the Nation impoverished and on its knees. [Beppe Grillo blog]
Bank Nationalization: China Shows What Can Be Done
Grillo's second proposal, nationalizing the banks, has also been tested and proven elsewhere, most notably in China. In an April 2012 article in The American Conservative titled "China's Rise, America's Fall," Ron Unz observes:
During the three decades to 2010, China achieved perhaps the most rapid sustained rate of economic development in the history of the human species, with its real economy growing almost 40-fold between 1978 and 2010. In 1978, America's economy was 15 times larger, but according to most international estimates, China is now set to surpass America's total economic output within just another few years.
According to Eamonn Fingleton in In The Jaws of the Dragon (2009), the fountain that feeds this tide is a strong public banking sector:
Capitalism's triumph in China has been proclaimed in countless books in recent years. . . . But . . . the higher reaches of its economy remain comprehensively controlled in a way that is the antithesis of everything we associate with Western capitalism. The key to this control is the Chinese banking system . . . [which is] not only state-owned but, as in other East Asian miracle economies, functions overtly as a major tool of the central government's industrial policy.
Guaranteed Basic Income--Not Just Welfare
Grillo's third proposal, a guaranteed basic income, is not just an off-the-wall, utopian idea either. A national dividend has been urged by the "Social Credit" school of monetary reform for nearly a century, and the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network has held a dozen annual conferences. They feel that a guaranteed basic income is the key to keeping modern, highly productive economies humming.
In Europe, the proposal is being pursued not just by Grillo's southern European party but by the sober Swiss of the north. An initiative to establish a new federal law for an unconditional basic income was formally introduced in Switzerland in April 2012. The idea consists of giving to all citizens a monthly income that is neither means-tested nor work-related. Under the Swiss referendum system of direct democracy, if the initiative gathers more than 100,000 signatures before October 2013, the Federal Assembly is required to look into it.
Colatrella does not say where Grillo plans to get the money for Italy's guaranteed basic income, but in Social Credit theory, it would simply be issued outright by the government; and Grillo, who has an accounting background, evidently agrees with that approach to funding. He said in a presentation available on YouTube:
A basic income guarantee paid for with central bank credit would not be "welfare" but would eliminate the need for welfare. It would be social security for all, replacing social security payments, unemployment insurance, and welfare taxes.
The Bank of Italy a private join-stock company, ownership comprises 10 insurance companies, 10 foundations, and 10 banks, that are all joint-stock companies . . . They issue the money out of thin air and lend it to us. It's the State who is supposed to issue it. We need money to work. The State should say: "There's scarcity of money? I'll issue some and put it into circulation. Money is plentiful? I'll withdraw and burn some of it." . . . Money is needed to keep prices stable and to let us work.
The Key to a Thriving Economy
Major C.H. Douglas, the thought leader of the Social Credit movement, argued that the economy routinely produces more goods and services than consumers have the money to purchase, because workers collectively do not get paid enough to cover the cost of the things they make. This is true because of external costs such as interest paid to banks, and because some portion of the national income is stashed in savings accounts, investment accounts, and under mattresses rather than spent on the GDP.
To fill what Social Crediters call "the gap," so that "demand" rises to meet "supply," additional money needs to be gotten into the circulating money supply. Douglas recommended doing it with a national dividend for everyone, an entitlement by "grace" rather than "works," something that was necessary just to raise purchasing power enough to cover the products on the market.
In the 1930s and 1940s, critics of Social Credit called it "funny money" and said it would merely inflate the money supply. The critics prevailed, and the Social Credit solution has not had much chance to be tested. But the possibilities were demonstrated in New Zealand during the Great Depression, when a state housing project was funded with credit issued by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the nationalized central bank. According to New Zealand commentator Kerry Bolton, this one measure was sufficient to resolve 75% of unemployment in the midst of the Great Depression.
Bolton notes that this was achieved without causing inflation. When new money is used to create new goods and services, supply rises along with demand and prices remain stable; but the "demand" has to come first. No business owner will invest in more capacity or production without first seeing a demand. No demand, no new jobs and no economic expansion.
The Need to Restore Economic Sovereignty
The money for a guaranteed basic income could be created by a nationalized central bank in the same way that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand did it, and that central bank "quantitative easing" (QE) is created out of nothing on a computer screen today. The problem with today's QE is that it has not gotten money into the pockets of consumers. The money has gotten--and can get--no further than the reserve accounts of banks, as explained here and here. A dividend paid directly to consumers would be "quantitative easing" for the people.
A basic income guarantee paid for with central bank credit would not be "welfare" but would eliminate the need for welfare. It would be social security for all, replacing social security payments, unemployment insurance, and welfare taxes. It could also replace much of the consumer debt that is choking the private economy, growing exponentially at usurious compound interest rates.
As Grillo points out, it is not the cost of government but the cost of money itself that has bankrupted Italy. If the country wishes to free itself from the shackles of debt and restore the prosperity it once had, it will need to take back its monetary sovereignty and issue its own money, either directly or through its own nationalized central bank. If Grillo's party comes to power and follows through with his platform, those shackles on the Italian economy might actually be released.
Europe's current debt crisis has been blatantly caused by well known financially reckless governments. But the problem of the reckless is being allowed to drag down sound responsible economic states into bailing out the financially reckless ones. Why?
Why dig a bigger hole? The only benefit offered is to maintain unity for unity sake. But the 'rescue package' repeatedly talked about does not address the underlying causes of the financial problem, nor entail removing the culpable captains of the reckless spending and borrowing. It is past time to cut the tether to prevent the ship sinking.
Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Spain and Italy have all but become insolvent sovereign states. Since their respective governments allowed their debt to spiral out of sovereign control, they have breached the European governance standards of being sovereign members. They should be declared bankrupt and expelled from the European Economic Community.
But do reckless governments have a representative right of the people to make responsible decisions? No. So the vote needs to be democratic.
The vote is one of direct democracy.
Instead, European 'groupthink' has prevailed into a 'eurothink' allowing the euro zone debt crisis to escalate. Ultimately, the governments of sound financial managers Germany and France are retrospectively assuming guarantor financial responsibility for reckless gamblers - Ireland, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy.
But government aristocrats have no democratic right to commit their people to external debt, with a plebiscite. Going guarantor for the hundreds of billions of unpayable debt of these countries means raising taxes, and sovereign financial exposure (bonds) to another countries debt.
The euphemism 'rescue package' is misleading.
Germany needs to get out quick or be dragged into a spiral of uncontrollable debt.
No responsible leader in Europe has yet postulated the ultimate risk scenario for Europe, but it is very real. Is it worse for insolvent member countries to be expelled from the EEC, or for Europe to financially collapse outright?
Europe's government aristocracies are transfixed in 'Eurothink' and the people recognise this whole issue as patently anti-democratic.
When it comes to ultimate risk, the consequences for group-think decision-making, risk becoming catastrophic.
Recent legislation to privatise water services in Italy has met with staunch public resistance and a well-organised national campaign, resulting in the tabling of a petition of around 1.5 million signatures from citizens opposed to this legislation - three times as many as are required to call a referendum on the issue.
Paolo Carsetti of the Forum Italiano dei Movimenti per l'Acqua has pointed out that even the City of Paris has removed control of water supply from the private sector, "when Paris had been the heart of the empire of water multinationals such as Suez and Veolia."
Citing the Australian activities of these and other off-shore companies such as Olam International, Summit Global, the Guinness-Peat Group and Water Asset Management, Ian Douglas, national coordinator of public water rights and environmental advocacy group, Fair Water Use, indicated today, "Unlike the Italian scenario, in Australia the process of water privatisation has been one of stealth; the vast majority of Australians are unaware that, as a direct result of the so-called 'water-reform' policies of successive state and federal governments, Australia is handing control of its water resources, and the uses to which our water is put, to private entities whose only interest is maximising the financial returns of their shareholders."
"Having dragged the issue into the open, Fair Water Use will do all possible to ensure that it remains in the public arena and will continue its campaign to let the people of Australia decide their water future: not inept administrations or self-serving speculators", he continued.
Dr Douglas concluded, "The Italian public will now have the opportunity to voice its opinion on water privatisation via national plebiscite: Australians deserve the right to do the same".
media [AT] fairwateruse.com.au
Fair Water Use (Australia)
+61 (0)8 8398 0812 / (0)4 1602 2178
PO Box 384, Balhannah, South Australia 5242
Editorial note: The article below appeared on 911blogger. After posting it, I had second thoughts, prompted in part by charges of anti-semetism against Cossiga in a LarvatusProdeo forum. I posted the following comment to the forum on 911blogger.com in response to this article - JS.
I did post this to our web site, but I have had second thoughts, prompted by a charge of anti-semetism against Francesco Cossiga on a forum on which 9/11 is being discussed in Australia.
Firstly, learning that the quote is two years out of date makes this problematic.
Also the term "Zionist world" does make it appear anti-Semetic.
Even if it is not ant-Semetic, I still have concerns with the viewpoint that seems to place Israel and Zionism at the centre of nearly everything that is wrong with the world today and that is what the translated statement appears to imply.
I can accept that Mossad may have played a role in 9/11 and had an interest in getting the US and European nations go to war against Afghanistan and Iraq, but, until I see stronger evidence I am not conviced that Israel and Mossad were the principle instigators of 9/11 as Cossiga seems to be saying.
If Fancesco Cossiga himself had a role in setting up Operation Gladio I need to better understand why he blew the whistle on it. One person here has suggested he had no choice.
I also note that Francesco Cossiga is not listed at pl911truth.com.
So has Waarheid911 been premature in claiming Cossiga as amongst those who question 9/11?
Former Italian President Francesco Cossiga, who revealed the existence of Operation Gladio, has told Italy's oldest and most widely read newspaper that the 9-11 terrorist attacks were run by the CIA and Mossad, and that this was common knowledge among global intelligence agencies. In what translates awkwardly into English, Cossiga told the newspaper Corriere della Sera:
"All the [intelligence services] of America and Europeknow well that the disastrous attack has been planned and realized from the Mossad, with the aid of the Zionist world in order to put under accusation the Arabic countries and in order to induce the western powers to take part in Iraq [and] Afghanistan."
Cossiga was elected president of the Italian Senate in July 1983 before winning a landslide election to become president of the country in 1985, and he remained until 1992.
Cossiga's tendency to be outspoken upset the Italian political establishment, and he was forced to resign after revealing the existence of, and his part in setting up, Operation Gladio. This was a rogue intelligence network under NATO auspices that carried out bombings across Europe in the 1960s, 1970s and '80s. Gladio's specialty was to carry out what they termed "false flag" operations-terror attacks that were blamed on their domestic and geopolitical opposition.
In March 2001, Gladio agent Vincenzo Vinciguerra stated, in sworn testimony, "You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple: to force the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security."
Cossiga first expressed his doubts about 9-11 in 2001, and is quoted by 9-11 researcher Webster Tarpley saying "The mastermind of the attack must have been a sophisticated mind, provided with ample means not only to recruit fanatic kamikazes, but also highly specialized personnel. I add one thing: it could not be accomplished without infiltrations in the radar and flight security personnel."
Coming from a widely respected former head of state, Cossiga's assertion that the 9-11 attacks were an inside job and that this is common knowledge among global intelligence agencies is illuminating. It is one more eye-opening confirmation that has not been mentioned by America's propaganda machine in print or on TV. Nevertheless, because of his experience and status in the world, Cossiga cannot be discounted as a crackpot.
Recently a well-known professor of Siena University, a hydrology expert and director of FAO development projects in Africa, launched an extraordinary thesis, using instruments of cultural anthropology, in an Italian publication.
In the middle of the renewed interest in demography, with one side decrying the population dearth and the other denouncing the obscene threat of overpopulation, professor Pietro Giuliano Cannata has introduced what amounts to a new world vision, challenging both views.
For Cannata, the long and anguished process of evolution, dictated by biological necessity, but without a design (telos) has been overtaken by culture, which now governs evolution.
Reading the book is in itself an experience regarding the revelation of the psychological forces that impel our behaviour and preoccupy every human being. Fear of death and attempts to dominate and exorcise it, using a variety of means from civilisation to civilisation, define those civilisations in major leit-motifs.
I use the editor’s comment to convey the main thesis:
“Suddenly one day, it became clear that the human species was taking control of its own destiny, because humans started to “choose”, in a confused and intermittent way, between life’s accidentally encountered bifurcations, in the long story of biological blind evolution.
Among these choices one triumphed over others: the decrease of births and the consequences of this, plus a significant new element: the refusal to procreate.
What were the reasons for this reluctance? Apart from the usual causes of economic difficulties, lack of social services, demand for political and professional participation by women, and aspirations for a continuously higher quality of life, another reason appeared. This one is a guiding anthropological, psychological and cultural factor, the unconscious determination to shirk the call for procreation, to refuse to transmit life.
After winning the competition for nourishment and space, after madly multiplying and achieving extraordinary levels of well being, consuming to satiety almost all the world, the human species refuses to grow anymore. Humans are getting ready for the final decline, in a disciplined way.”
The author wants to show an ontological transformation of evolution, no more driven by blind necessity and condemned to repeat the past. Life then, as glimpsed through the testament of some great philosophers and poets, is an insensate flight towards Nothing. The question about our final destination has no answer since the faith in a divine origin and destiny has dwindled.
The old paradigm imposed the fertility imperative on women. The female of the species will however soon everywhere be liberated by contraception and the possession of her body. History points to a rather different view of the maternal instinct: "Against the terror of repeated pregnancies, reality shows abortion and infanticide to be common practices. The casual smothering of the new born (which resulted in the canonical law of the suspended cradle), exposure to freezing weather, the fable of the children lost in the woods…”
Was the notion of maternal instinct invented by men, to better subjugate women and insure their cooperation in the propagation of their genes?
These and other strange questions run through the book, supplied and documented with vast philosophical, environmental and anthropological knowledge. The mind boggles and is taken over by a sense of despair, an outcome which I am sure the author did not intend. On the contrary, he seems to present the vision of a future without humans as the best solution to this absurd eternal flight towards death, the only sure thing in the uncertainty of life.
To be born - "Ed è rischio di morte il nascimento" - ("To be born is to risk death" - G.Leopardi) is the same as being mortal. Mortality is a state of being so intolerable that every century, every culture has invented a way to exorcise and justify it. The thirst for meaning cannot be satisfied: the enlightenment has eliminated all dogmas and the crumbling edifice of faith brings with it isolation and alienation.
Among the numerous themes to be dissected is the presumption that dominant males dominate natural selection in reproduction, denying the weak the chance to reproduce themselves.
“But the examination of DNA explodes this theory, showing more exceptions than confirmations of the dominant male theory, revealing six different fathers for each of the six kittens born to one female cat. Every male cat had a chance. Selection is therefore dictated by chaos.”
"It is clear that the health of the planet is a human task. It depends on humanity. Humanity is freeing itself from the unbearable weight of the world. This liberation will be the end of the future and maybe the end of history, because our descendant’s won't continue to get on and off the merry-go-round. Inexorably, the merry-go-round will slowly empty itself and finally stop. Nobody will get on anymore."
"Lights off, gentlemen, we are closing down."
Should I feel humiliated by being outdone by the excellent reportage of James Sinnamon on All Things Italian?
I've neglected to report much news concerning the current situation, but when I had a look at foreign papers (English, American, French, Italian, Swiss) that I often read, I found out that was plenty of news about Italian immigration policies.
Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your outlook, the era of globalisation has opened up the gates of information and everything is dashing forward into the open, mud, dirt and all.
So this is the news.
I have to make some considerations.
In spite of growing popular support for more rigorous measures to face the irresistible immigrant wave, the Italian Government has not succeeded in stemming the tide. It has tried half-hearted measures to grapple with difficulties from left-wing protests and business sector’s pressure, for fear of being labelled "racist"- the ultimate insult for any democratic government.
But there’s a basic hypocrisy, underneath all this tarantella of reciprocal buck-passing .
First of all, it is almost impossible to halt the phenomenon: it is a flood to which we weren't prepared and have no coherent response. It is an historical phenomenon, common to all Western nations, but also to any nation, which is perceived by the outsider as offering more opportunities for survival than its own. The whole world is a common, a place of free exchange for hungry and dispossessed people. Most of us are concerned with our land-base, our nation, our corner, which seemed secure and where we had the illusion of absolute control. We do not see the wood for the trees.
We have entered a new Middle Ages, when marauding armies were razing and plundering our civilisation. Today we have to thank the gods because the invasions are, on the whole, pacific, if not orderly.
With eyes wide shut, Italians are torn asunder among hard choices, ignoring the global context.
The whole nation is guilty of two basic defects:
Ignorance and complacency.
Days ago, a popular demonstration took place in Lampedusa, the well-known Italian island symbol of lawless immigration. Loads of immigrants arrive there to be housed in special structures (Centri di accoglienza) before the authorities decide what to do with them. The demonstrators, lead by the Mayor, protested against the Minister Maroni's decision to build another similar structure in another part of the island, because the first one is not sufficiently capacious for the ever-growing number of invaders… sorry, immigrants.
Ahem! In case you didn't grasp the irony of it, the locals were chanting together with the immigrants escaped from the Centre "Freedom! Freedom!" Yes, free the immigrants, as long as they can leave the island and go to other parts of Italy ( and thus the whole of Europe), I suppose.
This is an intractable problem, full of paradoxes. The puzzling allegiances, the partisanship, shift from day one to day two without warning, according to changes in the weather, gossip, or the muddled self deception of a highly suggestible and politically exploited population.
In such a disoriented cultural climate, once the immigrants have reached our soil, no government action is possible without political upheaval , or the menace of economic collapse, which may strike one way or another .
But wait! Recently the Italian Parliament, among bi-partisan jubilation, has passed some laws against illegal immigration! One of the most astute and realistic of them, that will represent the strongest deterrent to anybody determined to set foot on Italian soil, is the threat to fine from 5.000 to 10.000 € when caught in such criminal activity….Really? Do politicians get paid to deliver such ludicrous crap?
Talking about ignorance, things are not so simple and I must explain a few sobering facts.
Historically , the waves of immigration fluctuate depending on outside factors, not just local economic demands. We must distinguish the Lampedusa's problem (people coming from African countries torn by wars and religious madness) and the people coming from other parts of the world and from East Europe, who have practically being invited by complacent government of any colour, to help our "economic miracle" (read: doing the jobs that locals won't do and to pay our pensions).
People who arrive by sea are most of the time coming from war zones and are therefore protected by laws and the Geneva Convention. We cannot , I emphasise cannot, legally send them back without first checking their status. Therefore, the demonstrators cannot aim at the Italian Government, except in the case of suspicion of conniving with the refugees, for local gain. (see note :
"It appears that the immigration issue can also be a source of business. In some very poor realities, like Crotone, in the Southern areas of Calabria, 40 jobs have been created to serve the local Immigration Centre and a navette service brings the illegal immigrants to the near town of St. Anna, where they tour the place and beg from the passers-by. It is a rather bizarre way to create employment in an area afflicted by poverty . " )
I give you an example: during the war in Kosovo, 33.000 people left the Balkans for Italy, creating an emergency.
Ten years after, no more Kosovars. By the end of 2008, 31.097 people have requested political asylum , mostly from war areas, like Somalia. 75% of the immigrants that reach Lampedusa are political refugees.
Looking at the statistics, Italy last year had 38.000 immigrants, one for every 1.500 residents, which I consider an enormous sum, but then Norway, Germany and Sweden have 7 refugees for every 1.000 locals.
(Corriere della Sera, Saturday 31st January 2009)
To be accepted as a refugee there are in theory stringent rules that include: identity and passport check, plus convincing proofs that the person has escaped from a dangerous zone and is persecuted . A lot depends from his/hers credibility . The police require long procedures, which may last months. The long delays open the opportunity’s door for people who otherwise couldn't prove their refugees status, and will escape the bureaucratic system to enter an underground system of criminality.
The story of immigration shows the misery of Africa, where young people cannot hope for a future, nor can they rebel without incurring imprisonment or death. Their dangerous voyage lasts sometimes more than a year of suffering, hunger and beating. Bands sell them to other bands always exploited for occasional work. The puny amount of money they earn is regularly stolen and they may end up in prison if they cannot pay the ransom required to continue the journey. Corrupt police sell them to other traffickers. Finally they depart from Libya on a last horror journey, and when finally – if ever ! – they reach port, find themselves in a Limbo, the prize of a residence permit in their pocket, but victims of the Mafia, vagrancy and poverty.
Gone is the better alternative of working - even at lower wages - for some industry of the North : in the current economic decline, there’s no more work, for newly arrived immigrants who cannot speak the language. The mixture of prolonged misfortune, bureaucratic indifference, criminal exploitation and impossibility of integration are dangerous ingredients leading to social unrest and augment proportionally the danger of the current economic collapse.
One strategy consists in avoiding their arrival. We have to start at the origin of the Exodus. It is no good to try and get rid of crows if we keep on throwing our rubbish in the garden. The crows will come again and again, because they know that, in spite of our shouts, we need them to clear out the rubbish.
And here we have complacency.
I speak mainly against the hypocrisy of Western societies. The only society which I know that is still able to control its borders, through strict policies and a strong sense of identity cultivated by centuries of isolationism and self-sufficiency, is Japan. Japan, in contrast to all the advanced industrial democracies of the world, restricts severely immigration (including refugees and unskilled foreign workers). Personally, I can observe that this is the main the reason why Japanese society maitains its uniqueness as a homogeneous nation, in the face of other industrial nation’s loss of cultural identity and any vestige of decent civil behaviour. It is all written in Japan's immigration laws and policies .
(see: Japanese Laws and Policies Concerning Immigration(Including Refugees and Foreign Workers))
"One famous pro-immigration economist, Julian Simon, in his book The Economic Consequences of Immigration, promotes the idea that immigration contributes significantly to economic growth. Noticeably absent from the analysis in his book is the case of Japan, a country that has had virtually no permanent immigration since WWII, yet whose economy grew remarkably faster than the United States', even granting that it started from a lower GDP base, become the world's second-largest economy.")
The Exodus towards Europe had starter long ago, when this continent – and England- earned the title of the Affluent Society. The asylum-seekers were normally fake refugees, more attracted by our standard of living then fleeing from political oppression, and were called “economic migrants”. Our cities have grown accordingly together with a surplus of people, slums have grown with them and so has waste, a conspicuous consequence of wealth. We have become accustomed to servants: even our low classes have benefited, so to speak, from a surplus of attendants to their basic needs. During economic and population growth we were already addicted and doomed to explosion. We have started to forget what is like to work, there have been too many underlings, maids, domestics, subordinates, wage-slaves, to sustain the pleasures and the exuberance of our civilisation.
Moreover, there’s never been a neat solution to the dilemma of new workforce for the jobs that Italians didn' want to do . The Italian demographer De la Zuanna has observed that the arrival of immigrants which constitute the working force needed for the European economic miracle, create a new influx of immigrants, because of their aspirations for their sons: to climb the social ladder, go to University, do office jobs, whatever, but never oh never follow in the steps of their parents. We will need yet more immigrants to :
a) do the dirty low-status work they will refuse to do
b) pay for their pensions
The cycle will have no end.
I wonder: if this capitalist era founded on continuous growth should vanish, and we will inherit the collapse of our mode of existence, predicted by gloomers and doomers, how can we continue to support/being supported by more outsiders?
Italy has no more means to assist its own poor: notwithstanding the mass unemployment, it continues to import people who cannot anymore employ and that are destined to live and die at the margins of society.
So far we have lived without reflecting on the capacity of this Earth to sustain us all and our descendants in a state of bliss.
So many people have moved in the past, from time immemorial, looking for a mythical Eldorado, to look for better pastures, to escape persecution, or simply to dream of adventure, that it seems to represent a fundamental trait of human nature.
In our times, pulled by images that our culture is broadcasting like a tantalising siren, young men and women escape dire conditions of poverty and fear, to risk sinking in the Mediterranean sea, convinced that it is sufficient to touch the magical land and be saved, delivered from all ills.
And now, in view of an economic downturn, the stupidity of such open-border policies is revealed: we are all getting poorer, and our cities cannot provide anymore the mythical lure of before . From long years of intemperance we are all waking up with a hang-over.
The fault is with us, with our throw-away societies, with our need for somebody that clears up the mess we make, for someone that will do the work that our spoiled children won’t do. Parents gave their children what they never had in their lives, small and big luxuries according to their status and possibilities, which are always above the previous standards. Even affluent families, in the past, exercised some constrain over the more superfluous requirements of their children from whom it was expected to be judicious and maybe a bit too parsimonious: that was how most family wealth was protected and augmented for a posterity which has squandered it.
We have refused to look after our old parents, which we secured inside Old People Homes cared for by African nurses or at home served by Philippino maids, we have refused to dirty our hands on a building site, we have even eliminated from our schools the old style teaching of manual skills, convinced that our children will never need touch an implement, we employ gardeners, rubbish collectors, fruit pickers. Even more scandalous is the fact that some of these ex-servants are better at earning a living than our home-grown quality. New enterprises manned by ambitious Moroccans, Albanians, Vietnamese, are have sprouted all over our cities. And then we are hypocritically indignant that part of the world that we employ to clean our bottoms or offer a service that we are unable to do, should be thrown back into the sea? But are we serious? What effort at social engineering can stop the coming population tsunami, if we are unable to survive standing on our own feet?
At the moment, the people of England, France, Switzerland, Russia, Italy, (and we expect more in the coming days) are all out on strike, demonstrating against… the bad weather. They might as well address God asking for miracles. They are not in the mood to accept just one more foreigner to take just one more job. Nationalism is rampant , the ugly sort, because it is not the fruit of concern for one's country, beauty , biodiversity, culture . It is the selfish expression of a people who has forgotten what it means to be masters of one's own destiny , to pull up one’s socks and learn to live again, frugally and responsibly.
Lampedusa is a tiny Italian island near Malta. It is located 205km from Porto Empedocle in Sicily, 167km from Tunisia and 167km from Libya. It has only 6,000 permanent inhabitants. With the recent failure of Libya to honour a 2004 agreement the Island's resources are being overwhelmed by clandestine immigrants from Africa en-route to Europe.
The immigrants come through Lampedusa, as if through a permanently open door. They do not want to stay too long. Their objective is to go somewhere else, to the rich cities of the north of Italy or of Europe. It is a problem for the European Community, as much as Italy's problem.
At the beginning of July, 1000 clandestine immigrants reached the shores of this little island, in just 12 hours. Two women died, one was pregnant.
The Mayor of Lampedusa Bernardino De Rubeis comments: "It is an uninterrupted influx, we cannot cope. The immigrants are escaping war or famine. This is the nearest port from North Africa, that is why they all end up here. And here nothing functions anymore: the rubbish collection, the sewers, the water supply, the hospital. With 6,000 inhabitants plus the tourists, we must ration even the water to provide for the immigrants. The desalination plant cannot cope. Meanwhile, there are thousands of other refugees ready to leave from Libya."
Nobody criticises the Libyan Government for not respecting previous accords with the last Government, which included the surveillance of the coast, especially the port of Zwara, from where the immigrants leave, undisturbed and uncontrolled by the Libyan authorities.
During the night about twenty clandestines, escaped the Immigration Centre and terrorized the locals by going into shops to buy alcoholic beverages, and then getting drunk.
The island is torn between immigrants, inhabitants and tourists, because the resources do not grow with the growth of the population, a truth that is ignored at our peril, even at the global level.
However, if we do the numbers, we find out that every clandestine immigrant brings the Immigration Centre 36€ a day. Every day in Lampedusa there are about 400 clandestine immigrants, which means about 60,000€ a day, all in the pockets of the association "Lampedusa accoglienza" (Lampedusa Reception) which administers the Centre.
A new business.
See also: Migrant swell hits Lampedusa of 31 Jul 08, About 800 illegal immigrants land in Southern Italy of 31 Jul 08, Malta receives proportionately 18 times more migrants than Italy of (undated) from the Malta Independent, Italy: 1,000 illegal immigrants moved from overflowing holding centre of 1 Aug 08, Boat migrants swamp Italian island of 31 Jul 08.
Low birth rate, its dangers and remedies
My last article didn’t even attempt to expand on this: it was just a satirical gibe on a serious subject. And it mentioned immigration only as one of the solutions envisaged by demographers and urged by economists, to remedy the European reluctance to produce more babies. Meanwhile couples are cajoled and enticed with prizes, bonuses, Christmas boxes, allowances, trinkets, anything, that could lure them to do their duty for their Country.
Italians are doomed to extinction, indicated by the low rate of birth (1,34 babies in 2007)? The Maternity and Fertility Centre Studies confirmed that we are behind the European optimum ideal of 2,1 children per woman, (suggested by a Lisbon document of 2000) in order to avoid the Old Continent disappearing in this century. In this demographic Olympic race Italy is sadly behind every other European nation, of which the Champions are France, with Great Britain and Finland close behind. So, the country of “Amore e Bambini” is being paradoxically defeated by countries with a higher rate of divorce, contraception use, and women at work.
At the moment ,an oppressive pro-natalist propaganda sweeps Italy, fuelled by demographers and the fear of economic stagnation.
Take the well-known Massimo Livi Bacci, who is a robust and insistent pusher for economic incentives for newborns.
Livi Bacci began by defining migrations as the most important means to combat poverty, based on studies that forecast a 20% decline in the labor force in rich countries and a 60% increase in the poor countries by the year 2025.
On examining the consequences of Italian low fertility rate, he admits that:
“In a few years the new entries in the labour market will be substantially fewer than they are today …with very beneficial effects on the high unemployment of the young; the fewer entries, if more productive (as they must be), will also earn more. …”
Well? This is a philosophical issue as to what should be the basis for society decisions as to the type of future we prefer.
Livi Bacci , the demographer, is only worried because the current fertility rate implies the halving of the Italian population every forty years.
The issue of promoting an increase in natality has become the leit-motif of every Italian electoral programme, and, under the last Prodi government, was one of the most important objectives of his government.
Illegal Immigration and Criminality, twin issues
But Prodi may have disregarded the real preoccupation of the electorate, which was understood by Berlusconi, his successor, whose recent third ascent to power, by an overwhelming majority, was due to his recognition that the “people” wanted Security (Sicurezza). According to the figures of ISTAT, criminality is the major source of preoccupation ( 58,7 % ) especially in Puglia, Campanla and Sicily, and is often connected with massive waves of illegal immigration that regularly sweeps the Southern coasts facing North Africa.
TV and newspaper propose the same menu day after day:
Tons of rubbish left to rot in the streets of Naples, road pirates that kill pedestrians and run away, Roma or Roms (gypsies) that force their children to steal, honest citizens revolting against the numerous nomad camps, citizen’s patrols against mounting crime, illegal immigrants, more immigrants for whom, let’s face it, we don’t have jobs.
Here we have contrasting points of view, someone is telling lies and it is not clear why:
“Unemployment rises!( Corriere della Sera, June 2008). No joke, so why do we need more workingwomen + more babies and what are we going to do with the immigrants who reach our chores almost daily?
Why, one should ask, have Italian governments, of every shade, closed their eyes for years when faced with such ever-growing disorder?
It is not a mystery that criminality is more diffuse today in our world than when I was a child. England, for example, has the deplorable record of teenage gang’s and knife-related murder. Sociologists, historians, psychologists have been studying for years the reasons why. No consensus has prevailed.
Italy boasts an endemic ancient type of criminality that is family- and clan- related.: the Mafia and the Camorra. There is of course a relation between this home-grown criminality and an international business base that exploits vulnerable people by a heinous illegal traffic across the Mediterranean Sea.
Our frontiers have become porous
Thousands of “carrette del mare” ( sea-carts), hopelessly overloaded with immigrants are continually leaving Libya for Italy. Many of them end up on the bottom of the sea, tombs for lives and hopes. Reports of clandestine immigrants that reach the island of Lampedusa (a favourite spot for such adventurous passage from North Africa) are so common that it needs a shipwreck or some other tragedy to overcome the lethargy of a public overfed by the media. In the jargon borrowed from the unfortunate destiny of whales and dolphins, these cargoes are called “ beached”. According to figures released by the local Welcome Centre, more than 5,900 clandestine immigrants have reached Lampedusa this year alone.
In the national newspaper coloured ads declare: “LAMPEDUSA, the Pearl of the Mediterranean, From 490 €. Children gratis.”
The island is a tourist destination and in summer a vagrant crowd repeats the transhumance ritual.
With the high decibel of clubs, nobody seems to notice the presence of the new hungry arrivals. We think of them as wretched, they think of themselves lucky. Points of view change as the view from the shores points south or north.
What is the answer to these massive movements of people to this southern Italian outpost? Being Italians, can only be a… Work of Art! Which means: Escapism. You won’t believe this: to commemorate the deaths of thousands of victims at sea due to an ignoble trade with the connivance of General Gheddafi of Libya, the local Major commissioned a monument by a certain Mimmo Paladino, an artist in need of exposure with a politically correct cause. It is a door, which looks out to the sea and should symbolize “ a secular sanctuary”. It will be called “Door of Lampedusa, Door to Europe”.
EU closes the stable doors after the horse has bolted, but…
The wishful thinking by a foolish administrator clashes with the Parliament of the European Union’s decision to harmonize throughout the EU the rules of return to their homeland of these sans papiers (undocumented people). The new stricter law has became necessary- and came far too late – because the sages of the EU have suddenly realized that illegal immigration was choking their welfare system and feeding an already florid criminality.
But nothing is simple in Italy,the land of contradictions, where the old divisions between Right and Left, Secularism and Catholicism, dominate every aspect of life. The European religious bodies are up in arms: the Conference of European Churches, Caritas Europe, and the Commission for Migrants protest against the idea of forced return. “To migrate is not a crime, the real crime is an economic-financial system which allows 11% of world population to consume 88% of resources while the rest live in poverty.”
There you are: the social mission of the Church meets Communist internationalism, both denying the idea of borders.
But the Church’s criticism has a point, although we cannot force poor Italians (they exist) to pay for an unjust economic-financial system of which they too are victims.
We are at a stage where we cannot ignore the “other” “inconvenient truth”: the unmentionable reason of this irrepressible migration: overpopulation.
The flow of migrants comes mainly from Sub-Saharan Africa, which includes the 40 poorest countries in the world. To migrate is a necessity. The median age of population varies from 15 (Niger) and 19 (Gambia) and the demographic growth is the highest in the world. The Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mauritania and Nigeria registered a rate of growth greater than 3% per year, which means a doubling of the population every 23 years. Fertility is high and every woman gives birth to 5,5 children, against 3 per woman in other developing countries. The record belongs to Niger (7,9), Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, Liberia (6), greater than the birth-rates of European countries in the 18th and 19th centuries.
According to previsions by the UN , the entire region will grow from 309 million to 730 million in 2050, resulting in a scarcity of resources and need for cultivable land which the very density of a young population will not be able to satisfy and will lead to an enormous migration pressure. (Source: Neodemos, Dove emigrare è una necessità, by Letizia Mencarini)
This is the obvious sign that Europe should - before anything else- for the good of the poor and its own good, encourage birth control in these wretched countries by every appropriate means: education, economic incentives, media propaganda, but especially the diffusion of family planning clinics.
Failing this, the future scenario will be more famine, more wars, more suffering, more expensive but ineffectual Western aid. We will not halt the biblical invasion. Italy, its demographers and economists point out, needs young blood to do the jobs that the new generation doesn’t want to do . Or is there something else at work?
What is the role of the Mafia or the Camorra, the two main criminal organizations ? And what is the Berlusconi government prepared to do ?
All Italian society is indirectly involved in the consequences of human traffic, not just criminal organizations.
Take the “caporalato”, a new term to indicate the ringleader of a pool of immigrants, who supplies the industry large and small scale, with labourers at knockdown prices. These pools are formed as cooperatives that have an inbuilt existential volatility: they are born, prosper, die and then spring up again with a different identity. Some of them are manned by immigrants themselves and, for every worker they find, they will receive a financial cut. The immigrants who are victims and accomplices of such illegal transactions do not complain, even if the salary is so low that it doesn’t permit them to rent a habitable accommodation, but forces them to live heaped up sub-human misery.
Most of the illegal labour is used by:
1)the construction industry;
We shouldn’t build too many houses. Once the sans papiers get their papiers – which they will finally get – they finally can occupy the very houses that they have built, this time at subsidised rent. A friend of mine who works for the Assisi City Council, providing accommodation for poor families, explains that the more children in a family, the more likely they are to jump the queue for subsidised housing. Italian families, which have one of the lowest birth rates in Europe, do not have right to accommodation, even considering that the statistical reality (1,35 child per woman) is a numerical fiction, as families have more than one child. Moreover, the median dimension of a family nucleus is 2,5 persons per family, including other, often elderly, relatives.
But what will happen, when, according to last international news, the housing bust reaches us, as it already has in Spain and Denmark, where the construction industry has over-built ? "What will happen when the construction industry realizes that a shrinking and aging population won't need new houses?" asks Joseph Chamie director of the UN Population Division. Yes, what will happen ? What will we do with the excessive uneducated workforce of immigrants ?
The South of Italy is full of illegal immigrants from Morocco and other parts of Africa, who never heard of a contract and if they see one, they wouldn’t be able to read it. Some of the most celebrated Sicilian wines are the fruit of their labour. The tomatoes, the olive oil and wines that we eat and drink, and that are exported to markets in far away countries like Canada or England, are grown by seasonal and illegal immigrants, who have been paid next to nothing to enrich some producers and middle-men, of whom even Scrooge would be ashamed.
But the ones who work full time, even in horrible conditions, are the lucky ones: a substantial number roams from town to town, sleeping in stations, parks, a “via crucis” of day jobs, sometimes not paid by a landowner who acts more like a criminal himself. ( Source “Una stagione all’inferno” by Medecin sans frontiers, www.terrelibere.org/?x=completa&riga=260 )
Sometimes hope but more often shame impedes these young men from returning home, where prospects are not much better anyway.
The Mafia has a role in this human trafficking. Its formidable power is embedded in the territory where it has social acceptance and cooperation. It is a compound of families and “cosche” or clans, which operate as legal enterprises, with above-ground businesses that hide more sinister underworld activities.
Ultimately the Mafia has diversified by forming pacts with various criminal groups from East Europe and North Africa, which handle the most profitable, meanest tasks, such as drug trafficking, prostitution and illegal immigration. The foreign Mafia controls 50% of the prostitutes in Sicily while cocaine and marijuana are in the hands of Albanian clans. Immigrants sell their lives to the Mafia to pay for the trip to Italy.
One hears every single day of scandals involving either inhuman treatment of immigrants by Italian criminals, or crimes committed by immigrants, especially Roms, who have become the latest Italian obsession:
Another unresolved problem: nomads
The Roms are one of the manifold tribes of nomads who came originally from India and have taken up mobile residence in the heart of Europe, always refusing integration and assimilation. Once silversmiths, bear-trainers. fortune tellers, horse traders and other itinerant casual labour, they cannot cope with the changes of a modern world that has no need of their skills. However, their shabby settlements have all the modern tokens of consumption: mainly satellite TV cables, Nike shoes, Mercedes and other luxury cars. Italians fear the vicinity of their 700 camps, scattered among the peripheries of Italian cities. Famous for instructing their children in Dickensian-style pick pocketing, their mores are more brutal than anything old Fagin ever dreamed of. Wire tapping from the police has revealed their cruel lives: parents threaten small children with sexual abuse and beatings if they didn’t follow the orders given through a cellular phone, to rob apartments. Popular reaction was swift and unusually violent:
In May 2008 Roma camps around Naples were attacked and set on fire by local residents.
Journalists were accused of fomenting the xenophobic ire of the Italian populace, by daring to report the criminal acts committed by “foreigners”…So much for freedom of the press.
The Berlusconi government responded immediately by threatening controversial measures. They wanted to fingerprint all the Roma children, to protect them from mistreatment and a life of delinquency and lack of education. In Italy, there are about 35,000 Roma children between 6 and 14 years of age, but only 1,200 are actually enrolled in school.
The Lega Nord (Northern League), a party that represents the richer more industrious North and lobbies for fiscal independence applauded. The left claimed, “discrimination!” The Catholic hierarchy bled for the little children....
But a recent survey has established that 67% of Italians approve the idea of fingerprinting, as nobody has offered an alternative way to avoid the children’s scandalous exploitation by their own parents. The proposed measures have been criticised as racist by foreign observers. On the other hand, apparently, in France, children from 13 years onwards are registered by the police even in the absence of any punishable offence, but thought to be a nuisance for public order…
Is Italian society disintegrating ?
Journalistic ethos and the polite fiction of hopeful environmentalism require that, after describing disturbing scenarios, one should end with a note of optimism.
Unfortunately, I cannot see things getting better. The hopes which Berlusconi has aroused, the changes that his Cabinet of mediocre and inexperienced ministers have been instructed to carry out, are not going to produce a revolutionary reversal of national decline.
Italy is now more than ever divided by the forces of single-issue pressure groups. The leftist mantra is multiculturalism; the right is sticking to nationalism. Italians won’t suddenly metamorphose into law-abiding citizens. National character doesn’t change in a day. The proposed laws to stop illegal immigration are half-hearted attempts to satisfy a momentary anger, but the reality is that the country as a whole uses immigrants to carry out the growth that law-makers and citizens aspire to. Everybody lives on the back of immigrants, legal or illegal. Antonio Golini, professor of demography at the University La Sapienza in Rome, said that immigration is necessary, especially for countries like Italy, to meet the exigencies of the labour market. "But it cannot be massive," he said, "because of the presence in Europe of old minorities."
An aura of hypocrisy permeates the whole thing.
Through a recent survey we find out that 73% of the participants declared that migratory phenomena is dangerous for public order, while at the same time they employed illegal immigrants themselves, as black-market labour.
In the moral vacuum that is the hallmark of our decadent Western societies, the only voice that has any position on social and ethical issues is unfortunately the Catholic Church. And its position is, as to be expected, the defence of the meek, the poor and the slave. In its universalism, it has no voice to defend the national interest. Because it believes that man is made in image of God, it neglects and sometimes despises nature, if nature doesn’t serve unknown “higher” interest of mankind.
In a funny way, the Churchmen have become the defenders of an old vision of economic interests, and their language is laced with market jargon. Thus, the all-out defence of immigration, to replenish the empty pension trunks of the State and be called upon to fill the empty cradles. “Replacement Migration” (Is it a Solution to Declining and Aging Population?“ a subtitle title of a 2000 draft report by the UN Population Division) has been called a buzzword for Italian growth economy.
In a report by the Catholic Foundation, Migrantes (http://www.migrantes.com), with the theme of “Young Migrants: a resource and a provocation,” we may glimpse a Catholic vision of our future as a nation. The schools of tomorrow, let’s say by 2050, will have more foreign students than Italians. They will be sons and daughters of immigrants, and obviously the teaching profession welcomes this possibility, otherwise what will we do with all our teachers ?
According to a priest, the outcome will be positive, because Italian education has already chosen an intercultural approach, where differences are an enriching element.
Pupils from 192 nations are already present with a multiplicity of languages, customs and even traditions, including food, in the Italian schools. According to the Report, the school MUST recognise this reality and renounce the selfishness of mono culturalism.
Some teachers, swamped by the extra work included in an colossal influx of children in big cities, without the minimum knowledge of the Italian language, are starting to rebel, led by a determined group of parents. No need to wait till 2050: In Milano’s suburbs there are nursery classes with only one Italian bambino! The audacious proposal is to institute a maximum limit to the admission of children of other ethnic groups, let’s say, no more than three per class.
We know that the deterioration of Italian civilisation is not just the fault of immigration. But illegal immigration has added to the existent chaos and to the aggravated population pressures. It is suffered passively with a mixture of incompetence and resignation.
The Sicilian author Lampedusa in his book “The Leopard” expounds this revealing political truth: “ We will make changes so that nothing will change.”
Is this the destiny of our democracies?
Some Italian political commentators have risked their reputation by affirming that Italy is governed by thieves, by self-important idiots, by wind-bags or by ineffectual turn-coats. It may be that most political power attracts the wrong sort of personality. The difference lies in an incurable, seemingly invisible sickness, afflicting Italian society. This sickness manifests in the impossibility of indicting and calling to account whoever is responsible for unlawfulness or foul play. An impenetrable smoke screen covers the truth and offers impunity. Whoever knows something, won’t divulge it, or the accused ping-pong the responsibility to each other. Nobody ever can know the truth. Omertà is an Italian word for the conspiracy of silence concerning crimes, usually practised by Mafia members.
And so it goes: thefts, abuses, embezzlement, fraud, negligence of duty, go unpunished and the malpractice lasts forever and ever.
The battle so far seems lost.
We can no longer preserve our neglected cultural heritage, and alas, our quickly fading natural beauty, which, who has grown in this much-loved country, should appreciate and defend. But the greed of the few is spoiling and transforming our age-old landscape. Who will inherit all this ?
I present myself describing the situation in another land (Italy and Switzerland) and later on trying to give news from other parts of Europe which I know a little of. In the meantime, I shall offer some opinions, and even some suggestions….
I live in Switzerland (Lausanne) but was born in Italy (Gorizia) and I possess two nationalities. (very useful).
I have founded the Assisi Nature Council, an organisation in Italy (Assisi), at the time when it was à la mode (sorry: like AGW ! ah ah!) the figure of its most beloved Saint Francis as a symbol of Christian environmental conservation.
Times have changed, demographical growth and not conservation is the main problem, as conservation can only be obtained by less people and less of everything that too many people do.
My attention to the problem of overpopulation started rather earlier on, when I collected figures and statistics and news articles and so on. I made links with many major environmental organisations in the States and Italy and here’s a limited account of some of the feedback:
I approached a well known TV programme in Rome, but no success.
With Academy, no support, but some hostility. A University Professor from Perugia (Italy) asked me if I was a racist — and I didn’t even mention the immigration problem!
This resumé to tell you how overpopulation is not a respectable subject.
Lately, I have joined a group, which is related to the Radical Party, a Party of libertarian leanings, which hasn’t much representation in Parliament. Better than nothing, because the group I joined, called Rientrodolce, is the only political lobby I know in Italy, whose objective is to diminish the population. By non-violent methods (dolce) of course. No China solution, then. No other political or economic force in Italy seems aware of the existence of such a problem, though exists a number of online sites that talk about it, but their material is mostly a translation from English documents. The opinion makers in the media who refer often to overpopulation are a few, very good and informed, but they are called Cassandras (actually Cassandra was telling always the truth but nobody wanted to believe her, for the obvious reasons: she was a purveyor of Bad News!)
I get along very well with my group, we discuss lots of issues related to population, like the oil and food crisis, but there’s one blind spot in their vision.
It is called immigration.
Now, I do not understand that someone can be worried about population growth and not see that, in our western countries, it is fuelled by the relentless invasion of people from less affluent countries.
These people have found the solution to their fertility by sending the surplus to us.
This way, there will be no possibility for them to limit their population, if they have the economic incentive to emigrate.
The refusal to talk about Immigration has more than one cause.
In the case of Rientrodolce group, the philosophy behind it is libertarian, plus a complex sense of guilt towards the Third World.
This sense of guilt pressures seems to be widespread in our societies, whose ethos has been influenced by excessive left-wing rhetoric. We feel obliged to repair a perceived damage that our civilisation might have done and relish the occasion to demonstrate solidarity towards the hordes of suffering humanity rejects.
Though these sentiments, if genuine, might be laudable, they are suspiciously based on a leftist ideology (our sin is to be richer than they; we have robbed their resources through capitalism, etc.) and so are the solution we propose : quasi open borders, free circulation of goods, services and humans, solidarity, hospitality, tolerance and all that utopian vocabulary, which rests on the principle that what is desirable is also possible, and that “all you need is Love ”.
For the sake of the Third World’s problems it would be certainly better to find ways to help them there, and specifically to tie up any financial help to a serious antinatalist programme, which would really decrease their fertility while at the same time bring more wealth.
But this solution doesn’t appeal to the idealists, who prefer to enslave — which is what they really do — a foreign labour force to serve the basic necessities of a relatively wealthy civilisation. This is not piety, it is exploitation.
The Italian situation has been getting steadily worse under the previous governments that have maintained a lax attitude towards the problem of immigration, while at the same time encouraging couples to have more children.
You have probably come across news of the Italian coasts being inundated by hundreds of illegal immigrants month by month, so that nobody is now sure how many are around and what the hell are they doing: drugs or prostitution, underpaid employment without insurance, small crime or a life of misery? The incredible thing is that this kind of life costs them a lot of money, that they pay to unscrupulous exploiters: because commerce of humans is a very lucrative business and it should be stopped.
But any discussion on this subject wakes up a sort of Pavlovian reaction. If you mention immigration in the wrong crowd, accusations of racism, xenophobia, or fascism are thrown immediately at you.
This is why most people who rationally, as opposed to racially, object to illegal immigration, are very careful in expressing themselves. They do not want to be part of wild testosterone-filled young hooligans who go around bashing anybody who happens to be or look a stranger, No doubt, these gangs are made up by the less intelligent members of society, youths without jobs or proper education, who would be violent even if the foreigners didn’t exist, it is a pretext to let out frustration.
Lately though, the general public is waking up to the dangers posed by immigrants who commit violent crimes. Berlusconi, so much criticised by The Economist, The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times, the Bibles of liberal culture, has won the last election because promised a stricter policy in immigration. This new policy has given rise to loud protests from radical left quarters, but the recognition of the force of a popular vote is stronger.
Anyway, regarding immigration, Italians (as Americans, I hear) have a schizophrenic approach. It is well known that the economy would not function without immigration. Here in Switzerland, where I was treated in a clinic, more than half of the medical personnel was from abroad.
Families employ baby sitters and home help from the Philippine, South America, Ukraine, … They are the same people who cry against immigration . It is not sufficient to berate the local workforce which doesn’t want to do certain jobs which are then taken up by foreigners, it is a matter worth of deep and open investigation.
Moreover, the immigration issue is also a responsibility of the Catholic Church.
Italy is the country in Europe mostly influenced by the Church. Though Italians obviously do not respect the ban on contraception, the Church’s influence is felt in the political arena and in the media. No days pass by that some declaration of a Bishop isn’t printed in the media or publicised on TV. At the moment the Church is worried about the “culle vuote” (empty cradles) phenomenon and it is urging the government to offer more incentives for the Italians to procreate.
Similarly, every newspaper of the land is in favour of such government policies, and perfectly in tune with the fear of “birth dearth” and consequent pensions crisis, that is sweeping the European Union (EU).
These fears, while totally in accord with the Christian doctrine (of grow and multiply: the Providence will… well, provide, it is its job), they are very foolish coming from a secular presumably rational body.
I shall shortly post some anti-Malthusian articles by Vatican-approved sites, that explain this point of view. Interesting.
Immigration is justified also by the Church in the name of the “accoglienza” (welcome) to the needy, which is the charitable Christian doctrine: in fact, the Church is doing its job.
But government policies shouldn’t be dominated by external pressures.
But in this matter, the government is listening not to the Church but to rather other influent lobbies, mainly the powerful industries.
Especially the manufactures of the North East and the construction industry. This last body is the most obnoxious polluter and destroyer of what is left of a beautiful country. It makes me cry, when travelling along the Adriatic coast I see kilometres of disgraceful secondary homes hastily arranged in front of a once pristine beach, and all this is done with the help of some poor Albanians and Romanians, who, when the bonanza is finished, as it will soon (see Spain and France’s housing crisis) be without work. And the Italians, the ones who didn’t want to take such a lowly jobs, will also remain without hope of even those lowly jobs.
Further information: with the Italian group Rientrodolce, we are trying to influence policies, pushing for a recognition of overpopulation together with the concomitant issues of energy depletion and food crisis. Unfortunately at the moment I am not allowed to explain the dangers of immigration, but you cannot have everything….
I would like to do something similar through this groups which I have just joined, to propagate the message of overpopulation and, where possible, the madness of unlimited immigration, in the public arena. We must not only talk to each other , but find a way to be visible and authoritative.
I do not know yet how, but we will come up with some ideas, OK?
See you soon