Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018

Italian integration minister sparks controversy


Rome, May 6 - Italy's Congo-born integration
minister Cecile Kyenge stirred controversy on Monday for
statements saying she would push for reform granting automatic
Italian citizenship to the children of immigrants born in Italy.
Automatic citizenship is rare in Europe, with France
providing the exception to the general rule of blood-based
citizenship rules.
However, most European countries are less rigid than Italy
regarding naturalization, and grant easier paths toward
citizenship for the children of immigrants.
"In this country, which is porous and transitory for
immigrants, I believe automation is to be avoided," said
ex-international cooperation minister Andrea Riccardi on Monday.
Riccardi, who served under Italy's outgoing technical
government led by Mario Monti, explained that he would rather
see citizenship granted after the children of immigrants had
concluded a cycle of schooling in Italy.
Deputy Senate Speaker, Maurizio Gasparri, also objected,
telling Radio IES that the proposed reform would "mean giving
rights even to those who are born in Italy but never live there,
so those who might return would have rights to things they never
paid for through contributions that every Italian citizen
Meanwhile, the governor of Puglia and leader of the Freedom
Ecology Left (SEL), Nichi Vendola, likened Italy's current,
blood-based law to fascism.
Being born on Italian soil "is an essential ingredient for
defining what should be citizenship," Vendola said.
"Rights born from the basis of blood or race ties are
rights that belong to an opaque climate and culture of fascist
derivation," Vendola declared.
"After a regressive cultural climate of intolerance and
xenophobia that we have lived through under years of right-wing
government and cultural hegemony, I think that to relaunch from
(giving) the right to citizenship to everyone born in Italy is a
necessary, indispensable, dutiful, un-postponable reparation,"
Vendola said.
Moroccan-origin journalist, author and ex-parliamentarian
for Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom Party
(PDL) Souad Sbai countered, "Someone should explain to Minister
Kyenge that citizenship for immigrants' children, in whatever
form it may happen, doesn't interest anybody".
Sbai explained that the real issues are "work, housing,
health and so many other anxieties for the life of a foreigner
in Italy, not to mention to all Italians as well".
Secretary of the populist Lombard League, Matteo Salvini,
said, "To have a minister that arrived here illegally is
something that could only happen in Italy. And if we go to other
countries, they laugh behind our backs".
The Wikipedia biography of Kyenge says that she arrived in
Italy in 1983 as the recipient of a scholarship to attend
medical school in Rome, but due to a mistake had to wait a year
in Italy before she could begin her studies, which she then
successfully completed.

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