In the category of Life is a bitch for the rest of us--why not for you, Hypocrite?

September 10, 2016

 

 

 

These are the first pictures of a new pre-fab migrant camp that has been built in the heart of an Italian tourist hotspot that is popular with the rich and famous including Hollywood star George Clooney.

 

And officials in the town have admitted that the camp could remain there for years.

 

Tucked away on a side street and sandwiched between an empty factory and cemetery in Como, the site is where up to 300 migrants will now call home until they can leave Italy.

 

The 50 pre-fabricated modules being will include living accommodation, showers and bathrooms.

 

An on site medical centre will also be opened after authorities in Como decided to act following complaints that migrants were ruining the image of the town and neighbouring Lake Como where Brad Pitt, Bono, Matt Damon, Julia

Roberts and Jennifer Aniston have been spotted enjoying the surrounds.

 

The new camp will be in place until the flow of migrants into Como is drastically reduced and either they have left for other countries or granted asylum status, which could take years according to town officials.

'It will be used for as long as it needs to be,' said a spokesman for Como town council.

 

The camp is a mile away from the congested centre of Como and almost two miles from the restaurants and fashionable homes overlooking Lake Como.

 

Most of those in the camp have no desire to stay in Italy, and instead want to make their way to Germany or other countries in Northern Europe.

 

Newly arrived refugees in Italy are not able to claim any benefits and cannot work. It can take up to two years for asylum claims to be processed.

 

Refugees who have been in Italy over six months are paid 35 euros a day, but most of this goes to the shelters that provide board and lodging.

Individuals are given 2.50 euros a day 'pocket money' but many who choose to stay in the country earn money from menial jobs or cash in hand jobs.

 

For the past two months visitors arriving at the train station were greeted by the sight of migrants sleeping on the platform amid a jumble of blankets and clothes.

 

Others had camped outside the San Giovanni station entrance with sleeping bags and their few possessions stacked up against a wall.

 

The majority of the 300 migrants in the town have been living in a cluster of tents in a park outside the railway station.

 

Almost all had reluctantly returned to Como after being denied entry into Switzerland and are now in the purpose built camp, which town prefect Bruno Corda insists is temporary.

 

Lorries carrying the 20ft long pre-fabricated buildings waited outside the site waiting to have the containers lifted by crane and placed within the compound.

 

A team of workmen assembled the modules, which are the size of a shipping container and fitted with air conditioning.

 

The facility of 50 homes is due to open later this month and will accommodate as many as 300 people.

 

However, fears that the site will turn into an Italian 'jungle' – the camp in Calais where as many as 10,000 migrants are

based – were dismissed by officials in Como.

 

'This is a place that will be more secure and have better facilities,' said a spokesman for Mr Corda.

'It is a temporary measure and much better than having the refugees live in tents.

 

'We do not know how long it will be there.'

 

But not everyone in the town is thrilled by the prospect of a permanent shelter although they are happy to see the migrants leave the station.

 

 

 

Calvina Abretti, 42, said: 'What does that say to people who come to Como when the first sight is a migrant sleeping outside?

 

'I have sympathy for these people as they are homeless. They cannot stay on the streets forever and the cold weather will soon be here.

 

'The shelter they have built is best for them.'

 

At a nearby supermarket, staff were apprehensive about having the migrant shelter less than 100 yards away.

 

'We were not pleased when we were told it was being built here,' said one worker who did not want to be identified.

'If there are migrants in here all the time it will put off other customers. We would rather it was put somewhere else.'

 

The town of Como has become a major holding point for refugees attempting to cross into Switzerland.

 

Almost all the migrants, who are from Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, hope to reach Germany.

 

More than 100,000 migrants have landed in Italy so far this year having paid people smugglers to transport them from Libya.

 

Few make it beyond Italy's borders as other European countries have slammed the door shut.

In mid-July, the Swiss authorities sealed the border with Italy with controls on all crossings and trains being searched.

 

Migrants found on trains without the correct paperwork for travel are returned to Como.

 

At the makeshift tent camp by San Giovanni station left wing activists manned a stall to give advice on how best to sneak into Switzerland.

 

They handed round a leaflet entitled 'Solidarity Info' which gave information on how best to cross from Italy into Switzerland.

 

The leaflet warned that 'racist' police were on the lookout for migrants and said: 'Right now the borders are very controlled, but there are people who managed to cross. That means it is still possible.

'We hope that this information could be useful to find a way to cross the border.'

 

Underneath the advice was the slogan: 'No racism. Destroy all borders' and a diagram of a policeman.

Many migrants sat chatting to the activists who had set up a portable generator so that those in the camp could charge their iphones and ipads.

 

One activist said: 'These are humans and have a right to go where they want. They are escaping war and poverty.

'No Government should tell them they cannot come to their country.'

 

Local people brought food and clothes to the camp while the migrants mostly sat around chatting.

Others played football, among them 23-year-old Mohammed who said he was Ethiopian.

 

He insisted he did not want to stay in Italy and in broken English said Germany was his final destination.

 

'I don't know if I will ever get there. Why have they closed the border? Why will they not let us through', he said.

Like almost all the migrants in the camp he said he didn't have a passport and had no way of proving from what country he had fled.

 

A small squad of police officer stood watching over the messy campsite, which has expanded as more migrants arrived having failed in their efforts to cross into Switzerland.

Visitors to Como are unlikely to see the new refugee camp as it is a mile from the station and hidden behind six-foot high walls.

 

Hollywood star Clooney, who has campaigned for refugees from Darfur, has a holiday home overlooking Lake Como.

The actor spends up to four months a year as his lake-side 30-room Villa Oleander which he bought in 2002, officially putting the upmarket destination on the international map.

 

He celebrated his marriage to lawyer Amal Clooney at the £7.5 million Italian home in the picturesque village of Laglio where he keeps an impressive wine cellar and tours the lake on a motor launch.

 

Scenes for Clooney's heist-movie Oceans Twelve were shot at his Villa Oleandra and actors Emily Blunt and John Krasinski were married in the grounds.

 

Brad Pitt and his wife Angelina Jolie are frequent house guests with the small towns around Lake Como equally popular with tourists and visiting celebrities. 

 

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