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African and Asian Beach Traders in Italy 2011

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Miss Footloose said...

I have seen many of these traders as well on Italian beaches, and am wondering if they are illegal immigrants, who somehow have managed to get into the country from West Africa.

i imagine the stories they could tell are tragedies, and now, instead of being free, they have to worry about being caught. I don't KNOW this; I'm just wondering.

Haze Dweller said...

Yes, they are for the most part illegal immigrants. Some have got into the country on boats that crossed the Mediterranean from Libya, though this route has been much constricted now, others will have come in through Italy's porous land borders.

Some may have got their 'permesso di soggiorno', literally 'permit to stay', through various means, though most almost certainly will not have, for getting a permesso is not easy, it's not easy even if you speak Italian.

I don't think the Africans generally came to Italy to be free, they are economic migrants, they come to make some money. Their disillusion will come when they find out just how hard and demoralising it is to do this.

The stories they tell may depend on who they are telling them to. The message getting back home is frequently an essentially positive one, for they are the ones who've survived. See - a very interesting three part documentary by BBC Panorama.

See also my page He of the Grizzled Green Eyes. Even EU citizens need a permesso, or rather they don't, but they do.

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