The move by the Interior Ministry was a thinly veiled attempt to take advantage of Italy dozing off between Christmas tortellini and panettone. They announced that illegal landings had “halved” but the claim is worthy of an Italian comedy line.
The attempt by the ministry of Luciana Lamorgese was to hide their real policies by using statistically correct data to outline an absolutely fraudulent political scenario.
On December 25, the Interior Ministry informed the public that the arrivals of migrants had halved from 23 370 in 2018 to just 11 439 in 2019. The statistically incontrovertible figure is sadly not the result of any effort by Lamorgese.
By comparing the data of the first eight months of 2019, when the Interior ministry was in the hands of Matteo Salvini, to those of the last quarter when, with the arrival of Lamorgese at the Interior Ministry, the Safety Decree was effectively shelved and the NGOs regained free access to Italian ports, the political reality is exactly opposite to the image communicated by the Palazzo del Viminale, seat of the Prime Minister and of the Ministry of Interior.
A good 6 304 migrants, or the majority (55 percent) of those arriving in 2019, landed between September and today – in the period when the management of flows was up to the new government.
The bluff of the Interior Ministry becomes even more blatant if in the comparison is with the last quarter of 2018 when the Interior Ministry was freshly in the hands of Salvini – appointed minister only three months before.
There were just 3 293 landings in that quarter, or 16,7 percent of the total recorded in 2018 and almost half compared to the corresponding quarter of this year. In short, with Salvini, arrivals in the last four months of 2018 are significantly reduced compared to the average of the first half of the year when Marco Minniti was in hos post and the PD government was led by Paolo Gentiloni.
Thus, after the arrival of the Lamorgese at the Viminale, the number of landings went up dramatically, returning to the averages recorded in 2018 during the PD-driven semester.
Even more paradoxical is the census of migrants according to nationality of origin. Consulting the data of the Interior Ministry, the first place in 2019 belongs to Tunisia with 2 654 arrivals equal to 23 percent of the total, followed by Pakistan with 1 180 arrivals (10 percent) and the Ivory Coast with another 10 percent and 1 135 arrivals.
In Tunisia there is certainly a big economic crisis, but there is neither a dictatorship, nor a famine, nor a civil war. The same goes for the Ivory Coast.
The story of Pakistan is, however, paradoxical. Most of them reach Misrata in Libya on charter flights and then buy a one-way trip from the traffickers.
Two unquestionable realities were revealed from the data too: The first is that the vast majority of migrants, or at least 80 percent, are absolutely irregular. The second, far more serious, is that the government’s announced intention to repeal the Security Decree and reopen the collaboration with NGOs represents only the umpteenth gift to human traffickers.