Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by joanvillafane, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. joanvillafane Senior Member

    U.S., New Jersey
    U.S. English
    Hello, everyone - I'm sure I will have to read an entire encyclopedia of history, politics, and religion to understand this sentence completely, but right now I just need one word.
    From today's news: Calderoli talking about the Vatican: «Predica bene e razzola bene, perché ha una legge sui respingimenti dal ’29».
    I guess it has something to do with 1929 - i Patti Lateranensi - and I know "respingimenti" is used currently in the context of clandestini, respingere is to refuse entry, turn away, respingimento alla frontera. But I don't know how to read the connection so I don't know what "respingimenti" means here. Sorry if this is a linguistic/cultural question. These are the ones that are most difficult to understand.

    Thank you for any enlightenment or any links to sources that might help....
  2. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    It basically means rejection, that is, not letting foreigners cross the Vatican borders or dock at any harbours if we talk about Italy.
    Vatican clergy, according to Calderoli, say Italy shouldn't reject foreigners, but they themselves don't practise what they preach (perfect term in this context) since they in fact have rejected foreigners since 1929.
  3. GavinW Senior Member

    British English
    Calderoli (Northern League) is defending the immigration policy of the last centre-right government (with the Northern League's Roberto Maroni as Interior Minister). One of the characteristics of this policy, which attracted a lot of criticism, was to apply the policy "respingimenti" at sea (as set out under the Fini-Bossi immigration law, if I'm not mistaken). The Italian authorities (coastguards, Finance Police etc) were authorised to intercept boatloads of would-be immigrants (usually from north Africa, but often including migrants from sub-Saharan Africa and even from Asia, I believe) while still at sea, in the Mediterranean (but in Italian waters, I believe), and force them to turn back to their port of origin (in Libya, Tunisia etc), on the basis that they were all de facto "illegal immigrants", without taking any details of the people on board, and, crucially, without establishing whether there was anyone aboard who intended to claim political asylum in Italy, or who might have bona fide refugee status.

    In translating this term, I usually found (and find) that it was necessary to use a verb, rather than a noun: to turn migrants back at sea. Thus: "(the policy/practice of) turning migrants back at sea". I'm sure "repel" also works. Speciously (speciousness which is typical of a man who brings the trade of dentistry into some disrepute, one feels), Calderoli is claiming the Vatican has a similar law. But we are hardly comparing like with like here. For a start, nobody is likely to die of thirst, starvation or exposure after being "turned back" after trying to duck behind an exhibit in the Musei Vaticani. Also, I don't believe the Vatican is a signatory to international treaties or charters granting an automatic right to apply for asylum.
  4. joanvillafane Senior Member

    U.S., New Jersey
    U.S. English
    Thank you very much, Gavin. I am more or less well-informed on the current political situation (very beautifully summarized in your first paragraph, thank you again) but I had no idea why he was bringing the Vatican into it. I forgot to remember that Vatican City has its own political borders!
    And I agree that in English, we would use a verb ("turn back") rather than a noun. We have a similar policy here regarding Cubans coming across the Florida strait. If they are intercepted at sea, they are turned back. If they make it to land, they are given refugee status.
  5. alicip

    alicip Senior Member

    Italiano ITA-Romeno ROU-Inglese AmE
    I agree with both Paul and Gavin. I usually found it translated as Gavin says, even if a couple of times I found it as: "refusal of entry policy" or "policy on refusal of entry".
  6. london calling Senior Member

    I've never heard it called a 'refusal of entry policy', but we certainly speak about 'refusal of entry clearance' in the UK and a person can be 'refused entry clearance' (see the UK Border Agency site here).:)
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  7. alicip

    alicip Senior Member

    Italiano ITA-Romeno ROU-Inglese AmE
    Thank you very much LC. :)
  8. Crix Senior Member

    Italian/Spanish (bilingual)
    In addition to what Gavin explained, I might add that only last week, Pope Francesco choose to made his first official visit outside the Vatican to the island of Lampedusa, in the south of Italy, where most "illegal immigrants" coming by boat from North-Africa are landing since a few years. He made in this occasion a very strong point against the centre-right immigration policy that Gavin is speaking about and is advocating a change in the general immigration policy of Europe.

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