Leoluca Orlando – The mayor of Palermo who says that the right of mobility should be a human right. Orlando has fought the mafia in Sicily and is now the mayor of its capital where he has a surprising approach towards the immigrants. He welcomes them personally when they arrive by boat and makes them Palermitans. Orlando would love to see a more welcoming approach of the EU towards the immigrants who come in. He states that these people have rights and should be given a chance and feel welcome. Immigrants who feel welcome will keep their eyes open of who comes in and take responsibility for their new country or city. Orlando would like to create a mosaic of people in a city instead of a painting with boundaries. He calls himself the mayor of all people from Palermo, children to elderly, locally born and the just arrived. He even called in a special board in his office to have a voice of the immigrants being heard represented by an immigrant woman. A call to mayors around Europe to make a change because the main governments can’t do it all.
I might be biased because I am partly Palermitan myself, but also I agree with the way Orlando approaches the ‘new’ people arriving in Sicily. He wants them to be more free, welcomed and have rights much sooner, because globalisation should provide an exchange of people as well as a trade freedom. I wonder how they are being managed in a way that they understand the culture that is new to them. Also the Italians, in this case the Sicilians must have a vision on the way Orlando proposes we should treat the newcomers. But a warm welcome sounds like a very good foundation to base a new relationship from.