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Mar-03-2011 22:32printcomments

A Proposal for Italibya

A refugee wave of “catastrophic proportions”?

African refugee escape on the Mediterranean.
African refugee escape on the Mediterranean.

(ISTANBUL) - Libya’s Col. Muammar Gaddafi is known for his proposal of a state called Isratine. I would propose another state by the name of Italibya.

Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi has already sounded the alarm that taking a stroll in downtown Milan can cause one to think that one is not in fact in Europe but rather in Africa. In 2009 Italy test-drove a convenient way to deal with attempts by the formerly colonized to violate the territory of their colonizers, and hailed Tripoli’s acceptance of over 200 Africans discovered in small boats off the coast of Malta.

The voyagers were escorted by the Italian coast guard and police from European waters back to their continent of departure. For anyone in doubt, Berlusconi clarified that his government was not founded on the goal of a multiethnic society and would receive only those migrants meeting the requirements for political asylum. It was not explained whether asylum tests were simultaneously administered to the 200-plus migrants while they were being forcibly repatriated by the Italian state.

The prime minister has of course shown that he can handle the demographic threat in small doses, especially when it occurs in the form of Moroccan teenagers. Revolution in north Africa is meanwhile causing renewed hyperventilation by the Italian administration, and Interior Minister Roberto Maroni has warned of a refugee wave of “catastrophic proportions.”

Italy might yet avert transformation into Italibya by heeding the example of the ruler of Libya proper and detecting an Al Qaeda presence in incoming boats.


Belén is co-editor at Pulse Media. Her articles also have appeared in CounterPunch, Narco News, Palestine Chronicle, Palestine Think Tank, Rebelión, Tlaxcala, The Electronic Intifada, Upside Down World, and Her book “Coffee with Hezbollah,” a humorous political travelogue chronicling her hitchhiking trip through Lebanon in the aftermath of the 2006 Israeli assault, is available at Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes and Noble.

Born in Washington, DC, in 1982, Belén earned her bachelor's degree with a concentration in political science from Columbia University in New York City. Her diverse background of worldwide experiences, created a fantastic writer; one whose work we are extremely happy to share with viewers. You can contact Belén at:

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