By: V4 Agency
The small town near the border has been inundated with immigrants. As the reception centres filled up, with the support of intruding anarchists, they also occupied a vacant building. However, when they were relocated from here to shelters to thwart the viral spread, they began threatening the local mayor and residents.
Following the first lockdown due to the coronavirus epidemic, a record number of mainly male migrants from Afghanistan and Syria arrived in the area along the Balkan route wanting to cross the border and get to Germany via France.
Thousands of anarchist activists purporting to support migrants have descended on the commune, which traditionally depends on tourism and hospitality. On Thursday, 8 April, the municipal building was vandalised with graffiti in response to the prefecture’s 23 March action to clean up an otherwise vacant house which had been occupied by anarchists and immigrants and has consequently become a hotspot for several diseases, including Covid-19.
“It was completely out of control; a place void of law,” explains Mayor Andrea Terzolo to the Giornale.it news site. The police operations to clear out the building were carried out calmly and peacefully with utmost respect for all. The migrants were escorted to the reception center, where they received care and were housed. However, despite being asylum seekers, none of them wanted to stay in Italy, but sought to reach their desired destination: Germany.
Thanks to the efforts of the mayor, some private individuals and the Red Cross, a shelter has been set up outside the city, where migrants receive clothing, food and accommodation. “I should be taking care of the street lights and potholes, not public order, but the migrants are everywhere and out on the streets. My first concern is people’s lives. But the prefecture is not helping to maintain the shelter,” the mayor said. The disagreements also led to the vandalism in the small town.
Mayor Terzolo explains the problems that have already become commonplace: “The lack of state involvement is ruining municipalities, even smaller ones in the mountains, which is a huge and complex problem. In Claviere, the mayors are left alone on the front line to keep migrants in check.”
“The problem needs to be addressed, not ignored. We have now presented a new project to the prefecture to expand the Don Chiampo shelter with: more beds, the permanent instatement of qualified medical staff and the continual help of the Red Cross,” the mayor added. Terzolo does not want to relinquish vacant buildings to the anarchists, and also tries to mitigate damage to municipal offices by installing cameras.
“I’m speechless when I read these graffiti. Instead of insulting and threatening me, why don’t these people come to Camp Don Chiampo and help care for migrants?” Terzolo asked.