With the Sicily Channel in flames, a counter-terrorism operation underway in many provinces and an Italian relief worker killed by a US drone, there can be little doubt that Italy is on the forefront.
In these cases you would need some internal cohesion, which unsurprisingly is lacking. The relationship of the Government with the opposition and the dissident faction within its own party hit an all-time low as the debate of the Electoral Bill in the Chamber of Deputies approaches. The adversaries of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi accuse him of trying to accumulate an unchecked power, and it is easy to exploit the events in Africa and in the Sicily Channel against him.
First of all, the death of the Italian relief worker Giovanni Lo Porto happened some months ago, and was announced just after the return of Mr Renzi from his official visit to the United States. Mr Renzi assured that he had been informed by US President Barack Obama, but then why didn’t he pass the news to Mr Lo Porto’s family once back in Italy?
Another easy target is the position of the European Union and of its Member States on the Sicily Channel crisis. Mr Renzi obtained from Brussels some reinforcements, but no commitment to share the burden of hosting the rescued immigrants. Italy was indeed rebuked for its practice of not registering illegal immigrants so that they can reach other European States in breach of EU norms.