Europe, where you are?

Mauri Favaron
Posted October 3, 2013 from Italy
The EU border at Lampedusa, a possible paradise, now part of an immense cemetery (photo by Simone Urbinati, 2005, Creative Commons). Hoping it will be back a paradise on Earth.
The EU border at Lampedusa, a possible paradise, now part of an immense cemetery (photo by Simone Urbinati, 2005, Creative Commons). Hoping it will be back a paradise on Earth.
The EU border at Lampedusa, a possible paradise, now part of an immense cemetery (photo by Simone Urbinati, 2005, Creative Commons). Hoping it will be back a paradise on Earth. (1/1)

Today I'd like to say something more on climate change but, sincerely, I feel I wouldn't write any meaningful.

I imagine you all, in the World, know already - of the sunken fishing boat loaded with people trying their way towards Lampedusa, door of Europe, and from there to Germany, France, a dream of work and normal life.

I discovered this evening, on the lift at my parents home: a lady told me. I was coming from work, and didn't know.

Still, in the moment, as the lift slowly reached the 3rd floow, I did not realize the dimension. "Five hundred people". An immense number. So big one cannot even imagine. Believe...

Some minutes later I've seen at television. The horror without a form took a shape, numbers became more precise. Tomorrow statistics will tell of more than three hundred people, men, women and children, sunk in the sea.

The dynamics is under scrutiny, but what known is the large fishing boat, an old ship used as many other on an one way travel to Europe, encountered bad sea and began sinking. People tried to attract attention of ships in the area by burning a blanket. But bilge oil rising during the sinking had saturated the deck, a fire resulted, and people tried to save themselves jumping into sea - the ones who were able to. Few were able to swim.

I think some scenes cannot be imagined, even if you're there. The Mediterranean Sea is renown for its mild climate. But I can assure its water in September near Lampedusa is not that different from the North Sea's. Even an expert swimmer would freeze within minutes.

Help arrived by some fishing boats, who arrived not early enough to avoid the catastrophe, They called the Coast Guard, who joined the rescue, and together they were able to save a ninety people.

How few.

The sunken boat lies now in the depth of sea. Coast Guard frogmen have inspected the wreck, and said that tens of people are still there...

Tomorrow in Italy will be a national mourning day.

It will not be enough to give life back to the dead, and friends to their beloved and families.

What happened today at Lampedusa is not "uncommon". Just two days ago another boat stopped because of a fault close to the coast of Sicily. The criminal crew, with lashes and threats, forced people to jump overboard and try their fate swimming to the coast. Many died, because of the cold water, and not being able to swim.

Just some hours before today's catastrophe, the Pope Francesco was in visit to Lampedusa, and deposed a wreath on waters which in the last years have become an immense cemetery, in almost general indifference (and sometimes vile exploitation). Pope Francesco did not only deposed flowers on the sea and prayed: he told heavy words. I imagine all the World has heard them, and we all digest them, and for a time we leave petty contingencies and egoisms apart, letting hearts speak - so often they do, the "rational" mind acting dumb.

As fas as my words count - I'm just a nothing - please, you who can do, listen and do something.

I don't know whether you, Lady Catherine Ashton, or you, Prime Minister Angela Merkel, or you, mr. President Francois Hollande, have the time to read this, or even to discover my article. But if you do, please, remember the grandparents of you who embarked at Hamburg to America (as mine did from Genoa) no in less desperation than these brothers and sisters of our are doing now. They are exactly what we were yesterday, and could become once again.

That of migration across the borders of Europe is not a problem whose solution comes from just a few patrols It's global scale. It has to do with many complex factors, including recent upheavals in Northern Africa (which we love to forget, but is in all fact the "southernmost part of Europe", with no effective separating border), and continuing with wars, famine, dictatorships.

Italy, Spain, Greece and France, the bordering countries, may individually try to put a patch on contingency. But as you see, this is close to nothing. Global issues demand global solution by global-minded leaders.

Europe, where are you?

This, preventing catastrophes like today's, imagining a regional future in the European immediate nearby (Africa, Middle East), contrasting people traffic, stabilizing this region, would be also an occasion to change an abstract idea in a reality!

My hope is this message in a bottle will however reach you, the most powerful people, and you do all what possible to cancel this insult to God. Waiting until fishermen will once again get fishes in their nets, not cadavers.


Comments 2

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Wendy Stebbins
Oct 04, 2013
Oct 04, 2013

You thoguht ou wouldn't write anything meaningful? You ARE meaningful with your words and courage to speak out. Keep it coming.

Love and ubuntu (I am who I am because of who we are together),


Mauri Favaron
Oct 05, 2013
Oct 05, 2013

Thank you, Wendy dear, for your encouraging words!

You're so right! Things would never change if no one tells something, loud enough to be heard by "those who count".

Peace, and love


PS: I didn't know what "ubuntu" meant, and checked the vocabulary. It's a beautiful concept! Now I know one more inspiring word about how the World, and we, should/could be!

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