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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: July 2019

15 - Which Refugee Crisis?

from Part IV - The Crisis as a Crisis of the EU’s Social Character


Europe was shocked by the news that a boat full of migrants sunk into the Mediterranean Sea taking with it fifty-seven people. The episode occurred when the Italian Navy vessel Sibilla, in its effort to protect the common EU borders collided with the migrants’ boat. Some serious debates took place then, raising questions as to whether it was an accident or part of a political effort to stop the flow of migrants or whether the Italian Navy could have intervened and rescued the migrants. The year was 1997 and the non-EU migrants were Albanians fleeing the 1997 civil war that followed the collapse of the ‘pyramid’ banking system in their home country. The transition of the country to market economy and the new ambitious financial innovations had been promoted by the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) but also the European Economic Community (EEC).