Europe's Liberal Elite Outraged After Renzi Says Italy Has "No Moral Duty To Take In Migrants"

Tyler Durden's picture

The liberal facade behind Europe's grand refugee acceptance experiment took a big hit on Friday, when Italy's Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, and head of the ruling Democratic Party, said his country does not have "any moral duty to take in migrants", sharply toughening his stance over surging numbers of asylum seekers.  His U-Turn follows that of Angela Merkel, who infamously accepted nearly 1 million mostly Syrian refugees in 2015, only to see a surge in terrorist attacks across Germany and Europe, and a plunge in her popularity as a result of an angry social backlash, prompting her to quietly but forcefully end Germany's "open door" policy.

Now it's Italy turn.

Recall that last week we discussed that with refugees arrivals in Italy up 20% over the same period last year, Rome threatened to close its ports to privately-funded aid boats - many of which are rumored to belong to Soros-linked organizations, or insist that funding be cut to EU countries which fail to help. Italy's interior minister Marco Minniti was angry: "They are sailing under the flags of various European countries. If the only ports where refugees are taken to are Italian, something is not working. This is the heart of the question."

One can see why Italy may be angry: with the Balkan corridor closed, Italy has emerged as the only port of entry into Europe. More than 600,000 migrants have reached Italy over the past four years, the vast majority arriving by boat from Libya. About 85,000 have come ashore this year alone, accounting for the vast majority of European migrant arrivals.

And Just like in Germany two years ago, the popular reaction is one of growing anger - especially since migrants don't get to vote. However, the question has emerged: how does a "moral", liberal Europe square up to what is a growing undercurrent of resentment toward migrants, something traditionally associated with various loathed (by the establishment) populist parties? After all, if the same establishment admitted that what the "populists" offer is the right course of action, then a political crisis would ensue. 

That did not stop Italy's former PM Matteo Renzi from saying that "we need to free ourselves from a sense of guilt. We do not have the moral duty to welcome into Italy people who are worse off than ourselves," the Democratic Party leader wrote in new book, excerpts of which were released ahead of publication on the PD website.

"There has to be a fixed number of arrivals," he said, adding that Italy should help migrants in their home countries, and sounding suspiciously close like Italy's anti-immigrant parties.

Sure enough, underscoring the sensitivity of the issue - and just how hypocritical Europe's liberal crown is - Renzi's comments were swiftly removed from the website, but not before they had generated a backlash among some PD supporters, and glee in the right-wing camp.

As Reuters reports, the biggest winner from Renzi's unexpected moments of honesty, was Matteo Salvini, leader of the anti-immigrant Northern League party, who posted the deleted text on his own Twitter account. "Thanks for all the work. We will take it," Salvini wrote. "They (the PD) chatter and get embarrassed about it, while we can't wait to actually do it."

Meanwhile, Italy has found itself boxed in, with Brussels refusing to change its migrant policies even as rising popular anger means growing support for anti-establishment parties.

The upsurge in new arrivals, most of them from sub-Saharan Africa, has unsettled the Italian government, which has urged greater help from European allies in resettling the refugees.  Its requests have fallen largely on deaf ears and Renzi warned on Friday that Rome would look to curb funding to EU nations that had refused to offer help.

"They are shutting their doors. We will block their funds," he said, sounding suspiciously like Turkey's Erdogan who has so far prevented a new refugee crisis in Europe by gating some 2 million migrants inside Turkey's borders.

Making matters worse, Italy's migrant crisis is pushing the balance of power away from establishment parties: last month, Renzi's PD party fared badly in local elections, losing control of 30 municipalities, including the traditional leftist stronghold of Genoa in northern Italy, with the migrant crisis increasingly weighing on the government.

Meanwhile, adding insult and injury to hypocrisy, Former European Commissioner for humanitarian affairs, Emma Bonino, caused embarrassment in PD ranks this week when she said that Renzi's government had requested in 2014 that all the migrants leaving Libya be brought to Italy.  "At the beginning, we didn't realize that this was a structural problem and not a passing phase. We shot ourselves in the foot," said Bonino, a former Italian foreign minister. Oops.

Renzi of course denied her assertion on Friday, but said that in future, Italy should do more to encourage migrants to stay at home and develop their own economies.

"We need to escape from our 'do gooder' mentality," Renzi said.

To which we can only add that we are almost amazed at the speed with which Renzi, Merkel, and so much of Europe's "do gooder" liberal elite flipped its outlook on the idealistic act of accepting "people who are worse off than ourselves" the second said act starting having negative consequences on Renzi, Merkel and Europe's "do gooder" liberal slite. We would almost call this reversal glaringly hypocritical, but we are confident readers can make up their own minds.

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paint it red call it hell's picture

Why heaven forbid, a nationalist wanting to exclude his borders from bed bugs, cockroaches, water rats and starling evasions........

SpanishGoop's picture

"infamously accepted nearly 1 million mostly Syrian refugees in 2015,"


Mostly Syrian ?

Keep on dreaming.


SpanishGoop's picture

"One can see why Italy may be angry: with the Balkan corridor closed,"

Nope sorry can't, was to be expected.


SpanishGoop's picture

"The upsurge in new arrivals, most of them from sub-Saharan Africa,"

Already used to "sub" so sub-mediterranian should feel "just like home".



SpanishGoop's picture

"Renzi of course denied her assertion on Friday, but said that in future, Italy should do more to encourage migrants to stay at home and develop their own economies."

Italy to the coast guard "shoot to kill, eeeeh i mean shoot to sink".


Volaille de Bresse's picture

"Italy supported the 2011 intervention in Libya.  They deserve refugees"


Make that: "The NATO/GLadio scum in Italy supported the 2011 intervention in Libya.  The little guy does not deserve the refugees sewer waters in his streets".


Corrected for you ;-)

cesar's picture

Absolutely true.

The refugee issue is simply big business looking for cheap labour & more consumers i.e., europe's birth rate is too low and they don't want to reduce growth & profits. Big government knows that its social programs are ponzi-like and require a growing labour force to fund. Of course they try to wrap it up as a humanitarian gesture blah blah blah. Big Government + BIg Business is driving this refugee crap.

If they really want to help these distressed countries there's always foreign aid - don't need to create chaos at home.

Italy for Italians!!!

headless blogger's picture

What a bunch of hogwash. It's all a direct result in the West's invasions and mass murdering in the Middle East, along with Israel's true policy to expand it's borders from the Eprates river to the Nile. It's all documented and we know the cause. It is the Zionists and Liberal Left screaming Europe needs to replace their people because of low birth. GTFOOH

artichoke's picture

The migrants have low IQ's and even if wonderfully educated lack the capacity to sustain or even avoid being a net drain on the welfare state.  The leaders must know this.  The argument that the migrants are needed to support old age pensions is nonsense.  Maybe they are being brought in as foreign cultural elements who would have no compunction killing those white Europeans when they get old and need social support.

Dilluminati's picture

I'll make a prediction: you will see an exodus from the EU countries to countries where these immigrants came from where there isn't some fooolish notion that you can subsidize this eternal problem.  Sad, harsh, but true.  And here is what the EU has done, they have brought this upon themselves and they have already passed the point of controlling their borders.  When you see rational people like Bill Gates, people not hateful but rational who say: look there is only so much anyone can do and we can do it temporarily but not permanently.  

What you see in the EU is the creation of a permanent problem instead of a temporary mitigation, and lets be clear: these solutions if not applied where the problem originates solves nothing.  This will be looked back upon by historians as the single greatest blunder by foolish people.  What happened in 2014/2015 in respect to immigration I again state is a historical mistake that people will marvel about and all academics will come to agree upon in the future.  The establishment of these enclaves of cultural non-integration was sold by some myth of rags to riches by the corporations and the people were dumb enough to believe that something comes from nothing.

artichoke's picture

Europe unlike the USA does have the legal right to evict them.  Asylum is generally a temporary status until no longer needed, not a permanent one with path to citizenship.  But will they have the will to do it?

And what a mess it would be to try to push them back to Africa and the Muslim countries now, with the UN screaming bloody murder!

SamEyeAm's picture

Matteo Renzi reminds me of John Edwards.

Cephisus's picture

We should make the immigrants the central bankers to show how progressive we are.

Tortuga's picture

Put it to a vote, in every country. Anyone that embraces a suicide pact that the worlds elite, say they have, and believes them, is crazy.