Sunday, October 27, 2013

An Extraordinary Human Drama

The debate about immigration to Europe has heated up since the tragedy earlier this month, when 340  migrants traveling from north Africa to southern Europe drowned in the Mediterranean waters close to Lampedusa, the southernmost Italian island. Over the last two decades over 17,000 immigrants have died crossing the Mediterranean trying to reach the shores of the European Union in unsafe boats, and among more and more Europeans it becomes clear an unacceptable situation has been reached.

Even before this tragedy, immigration has been increasingly a controversial issue in Europe. Last June, the Transatlantic Trends Survey found that 58 per cent of Europeans found their governments were doing a bad job managing immigration: Italy was the highest with 83%, followed by Spain (74%), the United Kingdom (72%), Sweden (64%), France (59%), and the Netherlands (54%.)

The BBC's Newsnight program just broadcasted a poignant video (with a cartoon to mimic the voyage of a surviving Palestinian family escaping Syria, first to Egypt and Libya, and then trying to get to Lampedusa.) In a nutshell, it shows......

everything that is wrong: from the Palestinian family living in exile, to the war in Syria and then the lack of future in other Middle Eastern countries to the dangerous and expensive voyage by sea to reach the supposed safety of Europe. Have a look at this extraordinary human drama:

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