Bartolo, Mediterranean must become a sea of life once again

Ex 'migrants' doctor', now Mep, Lampedusa has always helped them

04 August, 14:15

    (ANSAmed) - LAMPEDUSA, AUGUST 4 - European lawmaker Pietro Bartolo, who worked for years as a doctor tending to migrants on the Italian island of Lampedusa, said on Thursday that the Mediterranean has taken the life of "more than 40,000 people and I had to see so many of these bodies in post-mortem inspections". Speaking in front of the island's Porta di Ponte during celebrations for the Day of Gratitude, Bartolo said he wants the Mediterranean to be once again "a sea of life, a bridge, not a cemetery, a sea of sustainment, something it has always been for the people of Lampedusa who gave their all to help those who did not have the luck to be able to stay home - people who faced terrifying journeys to land on this raft, or Lampedusa".

    Bartolo, who was in charge of the clinic Poliambulatorio of Lampedusa, said there are "small fringes" of people who start "opposing the hosting" of migrants, "but this is the great responsibility of those who let the migration phenomenon become a problem - a problem that doesn't exist".

    He went on to say that he is "very disappointed by Europe's attitude", which has transferred all responsibility "into the hands of those who rescued more than 30,000 people. This is something Europe should have done through the creation of a search-and-rescue service at sea", he noted. "NGOs would be very happy to leave the Mediterranean if such a service were in place. Migrants should not arrive in this way, they should arrive through humanitarian corridors", the lawmaker continued.

    Bartolo said "there is talk of economic migrants, climate-change migrants, undocumented" migrants but "they are people, they are not enemies" threatening "our borders. Borders should be defended from those who are armed, these people are just asking for help. Rescuing people is not a choice, it is a duty and the people of Lampedusa and security officers have always done it. Saying that these migrants are enemies is intolerable". (ANSAmed).

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