It’s a number. That’s all it is. It could have been represented like this: CVII-CVI. It could have been the beginning of a countdown that lasts a full one minute fourty seven seconds. It could be another enigmatic code aspiring to be the new Da Vinci or the recycled Zodiac.
Instead the numbers – each and every unit making up the one hundred and seven and the one hundred and six – represent human lives. Human beings. They are destined, as numbers, to be another footnote in the news items of a possibly hot summer. Like the bomb or shooting victims in Ankara, Lebanon, Palestine, Afghanistan and elsewhere they are destined to become another item on the news summary. People and flies, flies and people. The insensitivity of it all will remain astounding to a few. Some will choose to fume over the supposed “invaders”. The farce of the ridiculous rightists threatens to join the pointless hunters as yet another tragicomical issue for our islands politics.
But the numbers will be destined to grow. It is not just Malta and its government that should be aware of this. It is the great continent to the north of the greatest island in the world that needs to sensitised to the forthcoming disasters that will once again pop up daily on the papers. The seas of the Med will be awash again with hundreds of witnesses to the failure of Europe’s neighbour policy. Who knows maybe Sarkozy will go on another yacht trip to Malta and on his way, while medidating about his grandiose schemes of a Mediterranean assembly he will come face to face with a boat packed with hungry, forlorn travellers of fate.
107. That’s how many have reached the (un)promised shores until now (this season). 106. That’s how many are lost. Vanished or disappeared are the new fad words being used by the press. Probably swallowed by this mother of all seas that carried them on its waves of hope for a while but then became just as bored with them as the rest of humanity. That’s when it threw them up in one big toss… just before swallowing them into the ironic calm of oblivion.
Welcome to Malta – Gateway to the European Union – Highway to Heaven