In Voltri, in the former shipyards, in Bologna, in front of the CAS in via Mattei, in Ozzano, in the land in front of the barracks, in Turin in front of the brand new center in via Traves. In June the Minister of the Interior Matteo Piantedosi he guaranteed: “I can exclude that tent cities will be set up to house the migrants.” And instead, as the mayors had predicted, slowly the Civil Protection and Fire Brigade began to set up the tents, already several dozen in Liguria, Emilia Romagna, Piedmont.
The mayors’ concern: “The tents are scary”
“If we continue like this they will get everywhere, on the other hand we have to be ready. Here they continue to send us hundreds of migrants with just 24 hours’ notice and there is no place in any facility”, he says dejectedly. Matteo Biffoni, mayor of Prato and immigration manager of the ANCI, just left a meeting, never so well attended, with the administrators of small and large municipalities, now grappling not only with the need to find a roof and immediately for those arriving from Lampedusa but even with the discontent of the citizens. “The tent cities are scary, as well as not being dignified either for the migrants or for the populations of the territories called to host them”.
The new distribution plan from the Interior Ministry never arrived
The plan for the distribution of 50,000 migrants in two months expired on 15 September, but the new one which should cover another 20,000 people between now and the end of October has not yet been sent to local authorities. “We are urging it, it is madness not to even know how many people we are called to host in the next few weeks,” explains Biffoni. At the moment we are navigating by sight with calls from the prefectures of the regional capitals arriving daily to redistribute increasingly higher numbers of people to the various provinces.
The prefect of Genoa Renato Franceschelli he spreads his arms: “We are expecting 220 people in the next few days, we are trying everything with the mayors but there is nothing. The curtain solution is the only one we found immediately, with great regret. But the alternative was the street or the tent.” And it will soon be in many other Italian cities.
New reception centers with containers
Curtains but not only. In the absence of adequate structures, which mayors and prefects no longer know where to look for, the new so-called very first reception centers that arise here and there, often with two or three toilets for 300 people, are made of containers or housing modules of the used ones by civil protection in the event of a natural disaster. They arrive at night and are placed in areas in front of abandoned industries or empty yards. Ready to deal with unexpected arrivals.
Because in addition to those communicated by the prefectures with minimal notice, just the length of time the buses travel from Sicily to the final destinations, there are also the so-called “out of quotas” to consider, that is, the hundreds of migrants who, not registered anywhere upon their entry into Italy, they present themselves independently asking for accommodation or are intercepted at night on the street, sleeping on benches or in parks.
Camp beds in sports halls and gyms
Sports halls, gyms, speaker rooms: cots and mattresses are popping up everywhere to deal with an emergency that has become an urgency as underlined yesterday by mayors of the right and left who met to discuss what to do after the government’s measures. Which did not concern the reception circuit, as everyone hoped, but only the CPRs that some people want and some don’t but which in any case do not serve to provide a solution to the Municipalities’ cry for help. Bipartisan cry, once again: “Naples is collapsing, there is little to add. They send us migrants by land but also by sea”, but also the Northern League Flavio Di Muro, mayor of Ventimiglia is exasperated and fears riots among his citizens. He said it on Sunday in Pontida and repeated it yesterday in a meeting with his ANCI colleagues: “My citizens feel invaded, we have hundreds of migrants camped everywhere waiting to cross the border and others are arriving. Then don’t say that I didn’t warn them.”
Coordination of border municipalities
Spirits are high and many demand the same attention as Lampedusa. “For goodness sake, great solidarity with the friends of Lampedusa, but there are at least 7.8 border cities in Italy, from Porto Empedocle to Ventimiglia, from Trieste to my city and in fact we have decided to establish a coordination to propose very urgent interventions – says the mayor of Pozzallo Roberto Ammatuna – I had to put up camp beds in the sports hall to cope with further arrivals in addition to the hundreds of people we host in the hotspot and in the new center built between Pozzallo and Modica, including a small CPR but the citizens and sports associations are protesting, It is not possible to move forward without any planning, the government is stumbling in the dark. Lampedusa is emptied and Porto Empedocle goes haywire, hundreds of migrants are diverted to a small border area like ours. There are not only the needs of the large metropolises, which are also exhausted, and of Lampedusa”.
Ready for the barricades for the Cpr
Tensions destined to increase as soon as the process of identifying possible areas to host the new repatriation centers begins. They don’t want it in Tuscany, they would like it in Ventimiglia and they definitely want it in Friuli Venezia Giulia to ease the pressure of those arriving from the Balkan route. But the inhabitants of Palmanova, a very small center on which the choice seems to have fallen given the availability of the former Jalmicco barracks, are ready for the barricades. And they will only be the first.