Corriere di Ragusa – The situation has changed from “This centre is the best in Italy” (quote from the Environment Minister, Galletti, on a visit to the CPA on the 11th May of this year) to a reception centre that has been abandoned by the state, no signed agreements, at the mercy of events.
The year 2015 hasn’t started well for the facility located at the port. For several days, the hot water irrigation system has gone haywire. None of the migrants at the shelter were able to shower. The reinstallation of the system is expected in the next days, but no specific date has been set. On the first day of the year, there was still no signature on the agreement between the Prefecture of Ragusa and the Commune of Pozzallo for the management of the centre, which expired on the last day of 2014. In September, the Reception Centre was closed for some weeks in the absence of a signature for the extension of the centre. The impression that one gets is that both the Prefecture of Ragusa and the Comune of Pozzallo have different ideas, refusing to guarantee essential services that must be supplied to the present “guests” .
The hot water is, however, only the tip of the iceberg, given the many shortcomings that transpire from the port facility. Unconfirmed rumours report that migrants are not even given a phone card to call home which constitutes a service provided by the market operator which manages the CPA.
Operators, then, are the weak link of this whole affair. The last salary was taken back in May 2014. With the former cooperatives, more than 60 people require 60 months worth of salary. With the new supervisor, many figures have been downgraded and with a total reduced timetable. Many are disaffected with the trade unions, which had promised to keep the hours and salary unchanged. After the signing, everyone had the same worry: that they will work less hours assisting migrants, and therefore their salaries will be equally reduced. Yet again the Comune of Pozzallo had become spokesperson at the request of the operators so that everything went smoothly. Yet again, the abandonment of the facility was total.
220 migrants are still living in the facility. The only positive news after the condemnation of the putrid mattresses, was the complete removal of the same and subsequent disposal by the new operator of the CPA.
* CPA: centre of first accomodation
Translation: Charlotte Carew