Antonella Bundu (49) – born in Florence to an Italian mother and a native of Sierra Leone father, she is the mayor candidate of the Florentine left-wing coalition that includes the lists Florence Open City, Italian Left and Power to People.
A civil rights activist, she has never been part of a political competition in Florence before. “My commitment was born in the popular neighborhoods of Liverpool in the late 1980, where I lived with my family and where riots broke out following the economic crisis and discrimination against blacks. There I began to actively participate in the political struggle, “she explains.
At the center of his commitment is the “struggle for an inclusive multicultural Italy, for the rights of women and migrants.”
Bundu promises to undertake urgent policies to address the housing emergency for the most vulnerable communities in town. Among extraordinary measures to undertake, she intends to ask the prefect to suspend evictions for a year, apply an emergency program to purchase empty apartments at construction prices and block the sale of public real estate assets in favor of recovery and re-use policies for social housing and purposes. She is also convinced that homeless need a great deal of attention, offering them an opportunity to shelter in municipal residences, including address registration to open an access to the rights and services, starting from accommodation, to the basic income of citizenship and to an effective paths of integration.
If elected Bundu will also restructure mobility in Florence, improving public transport system.
Focusing on public housing and integrating the most vulnerable inhabitants of town, she is against the developed of a network of extra-luxury hotels or accommodations, attracting rich tourists, instead Bundu is eager to focus on defeating poverty, establishing multiculturalism and inclusion.
Italian Ambassador in Paris Teresa Castaldo was summoned after Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio (pictured) accused France of creating poverty in Africa by exploiting it, and aggravating mass migration to Europe.
“If we have people who are leaving Africa now it’s because some European countries, and France in particular, have never stopped colonizing Africa,” said Di Maio said, in line with the the 5-Star Movement political vision.
“If France didn’t have its African colonies, because that’s what they should be called, it would be the 15th largest world economy. Instead it’s among the first, exactly because of what it is doing in Africa.”
France has been manipulating the economies of 14 African countries that use the CFA franc — a colonial-era currency which is underpinned by the French Treasury, Di Maio continued his criticism.
“France is one of those countries that by printing money for 14 African states prevents their economic development and contributes to the fact that the refugees leave and then die in the sea or arrive on our coasts,” he concluded.
The critical remarks of the Italian politician did not pass unnoticed by French diplomacy, the third biggest network in the world after the USA and China.
Ambassador Teresa Castaldo was summoned on January 21 by the chief of staff of European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau, according to French diplomatic sources.
The UN envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame expressed hope for another attempt to hold an election by June 2019 after he abandoned scheduled one for December this year, but he added that Libyans should first use a national conference early 2019 to decide on the poll’s format. Ambassador expressed himself at margins of the conference taking place on 12-13 of November “For Libya with Libya” in Palermo, Italy.
The diplomat announced the decision to abandon plans of this year elections scheduled on December 10 after a break out of violence, which has not come to the halt since the assassination of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. However it is not clear if the adjusted new schedule will go through after the rejection of the the major political rival of he Western-backed Chairman of the Natiional Accord Governemnt in Tripoli Fayez Al-Sarraj to take part in the tailored discussion on the second day of the conference.
Reportedly Marshall Khalifa Haftar aides indicated that the commander, in case he arrives, will discuss exclusively combating terrorism and will not attend plenary sessions on November, 12 focused on finding a modality for a political deal to end ongoing fighting among Libya‘s multiple militias and other factions.
The Conference on Libya is hosted by Prime minister Guiseppe Conte, whose chances of making it into a success are slim in absence of will to compromise between two major rivals – Al-Sarraj and Haftar, and lack of interest from the leadership of France and Germany, who did not attend the event.
“It’s fundamental to seize this opportunity to back the cease-fire, to facilitate discussions for the realizations of new security assets in Tripoli and to show the international community’s determination to sustain the creation and deployment of regular armed forces and security forces,” Conte was quoted as interviewed by La Stampa.
Tripoli rejects a European Union’s plan to establish migrant centers and it will not be attracted by financial inducements, Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj said.
Rejection of Fayez al-Sarraj aborted the Italian proposal to organise reception and identification platforms for migrant processing in Africa as a means of resolve divisions among European governments over how to handle an influx of more than 1 million migrants since 2015 Italy hosted.
Libya is a main departure point for migrants trying to reach Europe often on dinky inflatable boats provided by smugglers that often spring leaks or break down.
“We are absolutely opposed to Europe officially wanting us to accommodate illegal immigrants the EU does not want to take in,” Sarraj told German mass-selling daily Bild in an interview. “We save hundreds of people off the coast of Libya every day – our ships are constantly on the move,” he said, adding that Libya was being left to rescue migrants from the Mediterranean alone and needed more technical and financial support.
Italy Interior Minister Matteo Salvini articulated that his country is “no longer the doormat of Europe”, while commenting on repelled migrants transported to Italy from Libyan coast by Aquarius NGO vessel, and the proposal of Spain to host them. Salvini also said that Spain can also host “another 66,000” migrants who stay in Italy now.
“Finally the Germans, the French, the Belgians, the Dutch and even the Spanish are listening to us,” Salvini underlined. The minister said he would seek to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests are rejected and work on a plan for Africa featuring development interventions to reduce migrant flows.
Reportedly Salvini demanded the Netherlands to recall Dutch-flagged ‘rescue’ ships of open borders NGOs, like Aquarius, insisting Italy refuses to be complicit in “illegal immigration business”.
According to French President Emmanuel Macron, the EU lacks solidarity and efficiency concerning migration. He underlined that the European borders must have better protection, whereas the mechanism of granting asylum must be unified. French president further pointed out that Europe’s response to migration crisis was outdated and reform was needed.
The meeting between the new Italian Prime minister Giuseppe Conte and the French president was jeopardized by a war of words following Rome’s decision to repel vessel #Aquarius carrying some 600 illegal migrants rescued in the Mediterranean.
During the press conference after the meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, French President Emmanuel Macron noted that talks of “axis” countries on migration are a reminder of “Europe’s unfortunate past history,” referring to the earlier remarks of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz that German, Austrian and Italian interior ministers form “axis” against illegal immigration.
As a possibility Macron and Conte offered to establish asylum processing centres in Africa, to prevent people risking their lives when crossing Mediterranean.
Coastguards continue to recover bodies of migrants drowned in a shipwreck in the Mediterranean on Sunday (3/05/2018), reportedly the boat had sank next to Tunisian coast.
Tunisian authorities said 47 bodies were recovered off the country’s southern coast, close to the city of Sfax, while NGOs presume there were more passengers on the crowded boat.
“The coastguard and the navy continue their search with the support of a military plane,” the interior ministry said in a statement.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo cautioning on Twitter that the final number of missing was still uncertain.
Meanwhile on a visit to Sicily Italy’s new interior minister, Matteo Salvini, said that the island must stop being “the refugee camp of Europe“.
The leader of the Lega Nord party said his government’s plans on migrants were not “hard line… but common sense”.
Salvini added that increasing deportations and limiting new arrivals would end up in saving lives, discouraging illegal migrants to take a risky adventure in Mediterranean waters.