Lampedusa he can’t take it anymore: the flow of incoming migrants does not stop and citizens begin to show signs of impatience. A strong and unexpected gesture testifies to this state of “fatigue”: this morning the “Gate of Europe”Appeared packed with black bags wrapped in adhesive tapes. Symbol of the island, installed for the memory of migrants who lost their lives at sea, the darkened door wanted to unequivocally represent the closure to the reception of migrants who land on the greater island of Pelagie after having faced the travels of the hope by sea.
A strong gesture that on Facebook pages also found those who, through some lines, claimed the act: “Lampedusa begins to get tired of landings and a government that favors immigration“. These are the words you read on the social network which are joined by other polemical statements towards the reception policy: “We are in emergency Covid– it is read-throughout Italy except for Lampedusa where landings and health procedures continue do not exist“. On Porta d’Europa it is still said that it was “properly packed and sent to the EU and to this pro-immigration government“. And finally: “We want to live off tourism not immigration“.
The work, created by Mimmo Pedalino, was inaugurated in July 2008 and, since then, has become the symbol BUSINESS. But the latter seems to have tired the Lampedusans who face numerous landings every day. Arrivals have not stopped even in this delicate phase characterized by the health emergency due to the coronavirus. In the past two months, the inhabitants of the island have had to deal with several hundred landings and this has helped to warm the hearts already worried about the strong economic crisis that the area is experiencing due to the lockdown. And in recent days there have been protests and the request for the closure of the hotspot. In this sense, a collection of signatures was also sent to the national and regional government. And regarding what happened this morning, the mayor Salvatore Martello intervened: “The Gate of Europe is one of the symbols of our island and our community“.
“It is a work known internationally– continued Martello- and seeing it scarred in such a vulgar way is a wound that hurts and worries us“. But the mayor did not fail to underline how the island has always fulfilled its duty to welcome migrants despite being often “alone”: “Lampedusa has always taken on the burden of a welcome that urgently needs certain and shared rules, and continues to do so despite the Coronavirus emergency which is causing an economic and social crisis that is unprecedented on the island and which risks being fertile ground for those who want to stir up tensions, divisions and dangerous acts of rebellion against the institutions“.
On this occasion, the first citizen also made an appeal to the national government and the European Community “so that Lampedusa can intervene as soon as possible with actions of concrete solidarity and support for the local community, before a wave of social hatred overwhelms everything“. After the mayor’s complaint, the door to Europe has been made” free “again by the bags and from Scotch tape that covered it.