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Rome view: immigrants from North Africa

Italy’s interior minister, Roberto Maroni, is quite right when he says that the country cannot be left alone to deal with the mass arrival of immigrants on its coasts. Recently Italy – and Italians – have tended to more or less give up on the EU. On the immigration issue they’re now calling for help and assistance. Eyes are opening and suddenly Italy realises that it is high time to re-engage with the European Union.

Over the last week alone Italy registered 4000 arrivals on the island of Lampedusa. On Friday it appealed for urgent assistance from the EU to deal with the ‘looming emergency’. In the light of the recent upheavals in Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria, it is a matter of urgency that the EU not only engages actively with the region, offering its support and solidarity, but also that it develops and implements an effective plan to manage any mass influx of immigrants from these

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Rome View: Double Standards on Human Rights Day

On Friday, 10th December, the world celebrated Human Rights Day. Friday was also the day when China, Pakistan, Iran, Sudan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Egypt, Cuba and Morocco failed to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, the day of an empty chair in Oslo that reminded us of all the political prisoners around the world.

On 10th December each year, we, in the Western world, usually recall the importance of protecting human rights. However, this year’s 10th December was different. Last Friday was not only the day when violations of basic human rights were remembered; on Friday, we discovered a very real double standard in the application of human rights. On Friday, we discovered that the Emperor is naked.

On Friday, Western ministries of foreign affairs celebrated Mr Assange’s imprisonment.

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