The open wounds
Sami Naïr, wrote a basic book about the migration flux in the Mediterranean titled The Open Wounds. The two shores of the Mediterranean: a Conflictive Destiny? Journalist Joaquín Estefanía prologued it.
It is a book people should read, given the xenophobic sprouts in Europe. Blinded by the new immigrants of Eastern countries, whom they consider more appropriate for their external appearance, for their education and their easy integration, they run the risk of forgetting where raw materials that have built this continent’s development come from. A democracy with an excluded part of society that does not participate is unconceivable; the social issue is crucial. It is precise to shed light on the concepts of emigration: the psychosis of an immigrant invasion and the lack of foundation of the impact immigrants have on productivity and unemployment.
Foreigners who live in Spain do not even represent 3 percent of the population. They represent 6.5 percent in France, 9 percent in Belgium, 32 percent in Luxembourg, 17.5 percent in Switzerland, 7.5 percent in Germany and 6.5 percent in Austria. Like A. Izquierdo proves in The unexpected immigration, the exaggeration of the numbers represents an ideological matter and an inductive component of xenophobia.
Integration in Europe will be impossible if misery prevails in the Southern part of the Mediterranean, which needs to share the benefits of the profits. Thus Estefanía quotes the Algerian leader Ben Bella, “How absurd it would be for Spain to welcome the Polish and reject Moroccans and Algerians, a Spain tat would try to control immigration by spreading the army like Italy does (with the Albanian refugees in Brindisi)! Even if Europe wanted to live within its walls and ignoring the rest of the world, the rest of the world will not forget Europe. The developing world is a shantytown with barracks in front of golf courses. What can happen next? An invasion to property. There is only one way to prevent it: that the shantytown lives better. Europe must help developing countries to develop, following their own paths.”
Sami Naïr proposes the creation of a space of encounter, a space of exchange and solidarity that takes racial mixture into consideration in the shores of the Mediterranean. Instead of considering the sea a frontier, to have the Mediterranean as a common space. Massive immigration fluxes cannot be defended, nor can imigration policies can be sustained without the living conditions of the immigrants’ countries of origin. Spain, a land of shelter, must promote the most generous policy and not leave the capital in free circulation while one is stingy with the people who, many times, are forced to emigrate due to the excesses of an unregulated, inhuman and clumsy globalization.
Carlos Gª Fajardo
Translated by Carlos Miguélez
This article was published in the Center of Collaborations for Solidarity (CCS) on 12/23/2004