Exodus of immigrants from Italy as recession continues to bite

Exodus of immigrants from Italy as recession continues to bite
Published:  11 Jan at 9 AM
The shaky economic problems in Italy are seeing more immigrant communities deciding to look at moving abroad to escape the dire financial situation. Italy is currently in recession as it struggles with austerity cuts and massive debts. The trend to pack up and leave is particularly prevalent in the country’s Chinese community.

A growing economy back home has seen a proliferation of for sale signs going up in Chinatown districts. Countries such as Canada are also proving popular with those looking for better economic prospects.

As Italy’s birth rate contracts and the population’s average age increases there is a need for more immigrants to enter the country. An aging population is likely to put even more pressure on the Italian welfare budget and the already damaged economy could be further hit as the working age population declines.

Prime Minister Mario Monti is still to make clear what his policies on immigration are. Children born in Italy to immigrant parents have been told they will be offered citizenship by the opposition Democrat Party.

Chinese community representative Sonia Fen has been living in Italy for more than two decades. She said she feared an exodus of Chinese would be welcomed by the Italian people as the community is often unfairly linked to the black market and crime. Nigerian community leader Romanus Nwaereka said Italy’s current immigration policies are costly and ineffective.