The Mayors of Sicily Welcome Refugees: “We need them.”

As the borders to Italy are reopened, several refugee boats have arrived at Sicily and Lampedosa and Italys minister for interior affairs has pleaded to the European Union for support.

Many more migrants can be expected. The Maltese government has estimated around 600 000 people trapped in Libya, waiting to cross the Mediterranean Sea, according to an article published by the Swedish Radio.

– We are ready to welcome everybody. We are ready to welcome everybody and we will cry against the European governments who does no respect the human rights, said the mayor of Palermo Leoluca Orlando in the interview with the Swedish Radio correspondent Alice Petrén last week.

It is not the first time the mayor of Palermo is raising his voice for the rights of migrants. A year ago, in the summer of 2019, the mayor together with the President of the Evangelical Churches in Germany, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm issued a statement which has been called the Palermo Apeal which states: “The Mediterranean is still the deadliest border in the world. Over 2,000 people drowned in the Mediterranean in 2018. We know of hundreds of deaths in 2019. Many die unseen these days without being included in the statistics. Europe now has a choice: do we want to help or look away in 2019?”

Now he says:

–  I speak in the name of three mayors. We think life is the first of the human rights. We need them. Europe is dying.

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