Prospective immigrants jump over a fence into the north African Spanish enclave. More than 300 migrants launched a dawn assault and tried to cross a triple-layer border fence into the Spanish city, which lies on the northern tip of Morocco, and 214 made it across. (via Guardian)
Italy Rescues More than 1,100 Migrants in Rafts South of Sicily
The Italian navy has rescued more than 1,100 migrants from nine large rafts in the waters south of Sicily.
Patrol helicopters identified the overcrowded rafts about 120 miles south-east of Lampedusa on Wednesday and four navy vessels participated in the rescue which ended early on Thursday. The navy gave no details about the nationalities of the migrants involved.
Italy is a major gateway into Europe for migrants, and arrivals by boat more than tripled in 2013 from the previous year, fuelled by Syria’s civil war and strife in the Horn of Africa. (via Guardian)
A Chinese immigrant makes a phone call as police officers conduct a check at the Shen Wu textile factory. Prato, the historical capital of Italy’s textile business, has attracted the largest concentration of Chinese-run industry in Europe within less than 20 years. Yet Prato is also a thriving hub of illegality committed by both Italians and Chinese, a byproduct of globalization gone wrong, some people in the city say. (via Reuters)
Following the worldwide trend of sharing portrays and stories of humans from all corners of the world, inspired by the work started by Brandon Stanton in 2010 with Humans of New York (HONY), Portugal also has a share of its people from several cities around the country represented on different collections on Facebook.
For three years in a row, this country of roughly 10.5 million people (according to data from 2012) has seen its population decrease. In 2012 not only were there more deaths than births, but also the number of people emigrating reached a peak unseen since the 1960s. Estimates from 2010 point to nearly 5 million Portuguese people who live outside the country.
Meet some of the faces of those humans who have either stayed or happen to be passing by in Portugal. (via Global Voices)
On the first day of 2014, nine European Union member states, including Germany, France, the Netherlands and Britain, will lift labor restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians. But already, skilled and even many unskilled laborers have found many waysto work in those countries. A look at income data shows why Bulgarians and Romanians might continue to seek greener pastures.
The wealthiest one-fifth of society in Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the European Union in 2007, have a lower median income than the poorest one-fifth of society in Britain, France, Germany or other wealthy European states, according to a review of income data obtained from Eurostat, the union’s statistics office.
Obviously, this does not necessarily mean that being poor in Britain, France or Germany is better than being in the top income bracket in Bulgaria or Romania: The cost of living is vastly lower in Sofia than in London.
But the lure of higher pay cannot be ignored when barriers come down, particularly as Bulgaria’s unemployment has increased sharply over the last half-decade. After bottoming out around 6 percent at the end of 2008, it has steadily risen to 13.2 percent in October. (via New York Times)
Migrants, who said they were from Syria, sit on the ground after being apprehended by the Serbian border police, having illegally entered the country from Macedonia. Every year, the Serbian border police catch thousands of migrants from Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere who are trying to reach Serbia illegally. In many cases they come from Turkey, through Greece to Macedonia and Serbia before they reach Hungary and with it, the borderless Schengen travel zone. (via Reuters)
Mohamed, 22, from Algeria, sits inside an abandoned wagon at the train station after crossing the border from Turkey. Debt-crippled Greece is the EU’s main entry point for illegal immigrants, mostly from Asia and Africa (via guardian.co.uk)
Oslo’s mayor Fabian Stang has said he is unconcerned by statistics showing that immigrants will make up half of Oslo’s population three decades from now.
His reaction stood in stark contrast to that of Progress Party leader Siv Jensen, who immediately called for tighter restrictions on immigration when Statistics Norway published its projections on Tuesday.
“No, I’m not concerned,” Stang told news agency NTB. “But the high number shows that we’ll have a major task integrating immigrants. It’s up to parliament and the government to decide how many people will move to the country. Our job is to integrate them.”
The mayor pointed out that 2040 remains a distant point in time: by then, many immigrants will have lived in Norway for almost 100 years.
“It’s an interesting question as to how long one should be considered an immigrant. For me, the most important thing is to be able to provide all immigrants with the best possible schools so they can receive a good education and get a job. It’s then of lesser importance what skin colour, religion or sexual orientation one has,” said Stand.
In 2040, 70 percent of the Norwegian capital’s first and second generation immigrants will have their roots in countries outside the 30-member European Economic Area, Statistics Norway said.
The study, the first ever projection of immigration trends to be published in Norway, shows that the largest cities will also see the biggest upsurge in immigrant numbers.
Immigrants are defined in the statistics as either people who have either moved to Norway from another country, or the Norway-born children of two first-generation immigrants. (via The Local)
An Immigrant Tells His Story: The Daily Racism of Life in an East German Town
Alberto lived through the Portuguese colonial era in Mozambique and emigrated to communist East Germany when he was 18. In the early 1980s, he worked as a butcher in East Berlin and spent his free time boxing. His love of the sport led him to move to the northeastern town of Schwedt, near the border with Poland, and he boxed more than 100 times for the town. He was so good that he made the national first division. “I was in the newspaper every week,” he recalls.
After his boxing career ended, Alberto took a course in social work and volunteered, helping out people in the community. Then the Berlin Wall fell and in the economic upheaval that followed, more than one-third of Schwedt’s population moved away. Unemployment rose to 15 percent. As the years passed, a generation grew that knew little about life in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), and they didn’t know Ibraimo Alberto. “In the 1990s, the mood against foreigners worsened,” he says today.
But he stayed in Schwedt and ended up spending 21 years there, until it became too much and he fled, for the first time in his life. Alberto, the only black person in Schwedt, who was appointed as the town’s immigrant representative, fled the racism of his fellow citizens. “Running away,” he says today, “was the best decision of my life.” (via SPIEGEL ONLINE)