italy pm

Italy: with new PM, immigrants worry 

The election of Italy’s first female Prime Minister has raised fears among the country’s immigrants about what the future holds. 

Is there a reason for them to be concerned? 

The founder of the Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy), Giorgia Meloni, will be Italy’s first female Prime Minister. For the first time since Benito Mussolini’s overthrow during World War II, her election last month will shift the nation to the far right. According to its website, The Brothers of Italy (founded by Meloni), is a national-conservative populist party opposed to undocumented immigration. “What happens when voters can’t find work? They blame migrants”, an immigrant said. 

What are the PM’s plans? 

One of the main subjects of Meloni’s campaign was to restrict immigration. Meloni advocated stronger border restrictions and suggested setting up centers under the jurisdiction of the European Union to examine refugee claims. According to 2018 poll findings, 35% of Italians – an increase of 17 percentage points from 2014 – consider immigration to be one of the most pressing challenges facing their nation. 

How is immigration a problem? 

Many believe that Italy’s unemployment challenge is worsened by immigration. After Spain and Greece, Italy had the third-highest unemployment rate in the EU as of August, at 8.1%. According to the most recent census records, there are roughly 5 million people living in Italy who were not born there, accounting for less than 9% of the 59.2 million people who call the country home. The new PM has referred to pro-immigration measures as part of a conspiracy by the left-wing to “replace Italians with immigrants”. 

To stop “illegal departures” to Italy, Meloni has called for a “naval blockade” at sea. She opposed the “Ius Scholae” law, which would have given citizenship rights to children under the age of 12 who immigrated to Italy for schooling.  

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