All to send a few euros at the end of the month at home. Last week Merko B. told me that he had decided to return. In his hand a piece of paper with his address and a greeting in "italiese", "in bokalupo".
He came back because the fear of hunting illegal immigrants had finally weakened his resistance. But he also came back for another reason: at home now there was work for him. The story of Merko B., a kafe-colored boy as it was written on his passport, is an emblematic story in all his pain but also in his unpredictability.
He had crossed the sea to try to escape poverty without solutions. He found, on the other coast, a golden world, which left him some miserable crumbs from his banquets. I never heard Merko B. complain, though he had so many reasons with those dozens of suvs that passed him in windows bolted every day in front of his nose. He did not even complain by reading the titles on the free press announcing, screaming beyond measure, the provisions put into practice by the new government. Pragmatically he did two plus two. He understood that now, for him, the real dead end was Italy. And that if some opening towards the future was opened it was in the very poor country from which he had left. The result of the two plus two was the decision to return.
Perhaps a story like this can help to look at the issue that is dividing Italy and the same majority with more concrete intelligence. Perhaps the idea that the world is boiling over with people pushing to enter our country does not fully correspond to the truth of things. We know that the Romanian government has begun to stimulate the return of emigrants from Spain, because it is in great need of manpower. It is likely that pressure will soon begin on the Romanians who have emigrated from us. Albania has a GDP that in 2007 has grown by 5% and an unemployment rate dropped to 13% (with an underground economy weighing for 50%). Of course, the dramatic front of the southern hemisphere remains, but it is a front that has always had a small percentage of migration flows.
That the time has come to change the approach to this epochal phenomenon? To stop dramatizing its impact artificially? To begin pragmatically to bring out the many, many who here in the clandestine have unfortunately only the registry status? To give full dignity to those who are there, without the usual alibi that the whole world is pressing at our borders? The little story of Merko B. suggests a little.
The author of the article, Giuseppe Frangi is the director responsible for "Vita non profit magazine"
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