Immigration is not something new in Lampedusa

My name is Franca Parizi. I’m a doctor, a pediatrician from Milan. I moved to Lampedusa three years ago. I chose to live in this place because this is maybe the only place where I’ve always felt really at home. Now I’m also Councillor for Health, Social Services and Reception and First Help to Migrants, even though I don’t think the municipality can do much.

The municipality has no power, no authority in matters of reception and first help for migrants, because the Reception Centre is an extra-territorial centre which depends directly on the Ministry of the Interior and so on the Prefecture. But it can make its voice heard, and I think this has been done a lot lately – in order to give migrants a decent reception, this is the only thing that the Municipality can do. And it’s what it is doing now, especially with the media.

The people of Lampedusa have always been very generous and very sympathetic, also because migration is not something new for this island, it’s something they have known for many, many years. They are sympathetic, especially with these latest migrants, who leave behind them really critical situations, like wars, persecution, extreme poverty. This is one of the most beautiful characteristics of these people, without any doubt.