280 words: Two governments, two migration policies

There is a certain social network which limits its messages to 280 characters. I’ll limit my message to 280 words. In early June, two new governments were almost simultaneously installed in Europe. On the 1st of June, a right-wing government assumed duties in Italy and, on the 2nd of June, a left-wing one was sworn into office in Spain. This along with the fact that both Italy and Spain are frontline countries in regards to invasion of illegal immigrants makes a live comparison possible how different migration policies influence illegal immigration.

In May, the last month of previous governments, illegal Mediterranean immigration was at the same level in both countries (using UNHCR numbers). Since that, numbers changed in dramatically different directions — more than doubled in Spain and dropped by half in Italy:

This proves once more that political decisions can change volume and direction of migration quite easily.

It would be nice to compare daily numbers; unfortunately UNHCR doesn’t publish such data for Spain. But one can use Italy’s data to compare another two governments: the previous leftist one that started to curb illegal immigration last summer — and the present government that promised to act decisively against the invasion. So the picture is such (please note logarithmic scale):

As we see, the leftists confined illegal immigration to 4…5 thousand summertime but the rightists have managed to lower it 3…4 times more — to the level not seen in August since 2010. One may be justly cautious about the new Italian government in regards to its foolish overtures to Putin but it must be admitted the government is successful in regards to its primary duty to European nations — by making the Mediterranean a natural border again

Ritvars Eglājs

Geographer, free marketer, Latvian nationalist

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