Investigation on European immigration

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 They do not come with a cardboard luggage, they are well educated and travel by plane, very often low cost. This is what an inquiry of the Italian newspaper “La Repubblica” has recently revealed about the new Italians who live abroad.

The inquiry has said that AIRE (The Italian acronym for the register of the Italians who live abroad), the only official tool to record the presence of the Italians out of Italy, covers a key role, but it is not enough. The 54 percent of the 25.000 people who have participated to the questionnaire have never been registered by AIRE.

This sort of spontaneous census is simple and basic. After the personal data (name, surname and e mail are optional), people should write the country where they are living, what they are doing, why they are abroad (work, love, personal choice) and a little tale about their story.

It is really difficult to have the real number of Italian people who live abroad, but the Repubblica’s journalists have understood that the best way to know where they are and what they are doing is to ask directly them.

The 52 percent of these new migrants is from 25 to 34 years old, 30 percent is from 35 and 44, 10 percent is more than 45 years old and just the 5 percent is less than 24 years old. Its clear that this migration mainly concerns young and well educated people.

In fact the 53 percent of them is graduated, the 21 percent has a Phd and only the 3 percent has a middle school. The majority of these migrants live in Europe. The 16 percent is in Britain, a 10 percent is in France and another 10 percent is in Spain.

The journalists are not surprised to see that the 40 percent has migrated for work reasons, but the relevant element is that the 39 percent has left Italy because they don’t like what their country can offer them.

 “Right now becoming independent in Italy is difficult for a young”, said Veronica Zamperini, 28, from Verona. “After a master degree you can get a stage for 300 euro, but with this money you can only live with your parents”.

Veronica came in London last march to work as a contract coordinator for a Japanese wholesale tour operator. He graduated on November 2009 with a Master Degree in International Business Communication in Verona and after receiving a good job opportunity in London, decided to move.

“I like the British meritocracy”, said Veronica, “sometimes in Italy knowing the right people is better than having a good curriculum. Here you are judged by what you are able to do”.

The Repubblica’s inquiry is based on the first book of the freelance journalist Claudia Cucchiarato. Published in May 2010 by Mondadori, “Vivo altrove. Giovani senza radici: gli emigrati italiani di oggi” tell the stories of many Italians who live out of their country.

The AIRE data says that the Italian community in Europe is about 1,3 million of people, but the inquiry reveals that the official numbers are much lower than the real ones.

“We can’t know the exact number of Italians who live in Britain”, said Lorenzo Losi, General Vice-secretary for Europe and North Africa for the General Council of the Italians who live abroad (CGIE) and president of Acli in Britain (the Italian association of Italian workers), we can only refer to the numbers that the Consulate give us. Our data”, added Losi, “said that the Italians in Britain are 190.000 and about 100.000 belong to the first generation of migrants”.

From the first generations of Italians who left the peninsula in the second half of the Nineteenth century the migrant modalities are changed and also the words have been substituted. In fact the Acli president doesn’t want to call this process migration. He prefers a more modern word: mobility.

The process that the inquiry describes is called in Italy “brain drain”. “But I left just because my brain remained in its place”, a young engineer from Paris wrote on the questionnaire.

The Repubblica’s inquiry has been reported by many Italian and international newspaper and magazines.

Stephan Faris wrote on The Time that Italy is a country where success is built on relationship and seniority and only the friends and children of the elite have a chance to cut the line.

Marco, an Italian boy who works in a university in Sweden, is proposing, on the Claudia Cucchiarata’s blog, to meet Italians who live in Europe during a trip by train on his road to Salerno for the Christmas holiday. His intent is to meet anybody wants to tell their story and bring ideas in order to promote a change on the Italian youth policy.

Like many young people who live and work abroad, Veronica will come back to Italy during the last days of December.

“The truth”, said the girl, “is that being young in Italy right now is very difficult”.

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