Dear compatriots, I am pleased to accept the publisher’s invitation to make some end-of-year considerations, with reference to my parliamentary activities in 2020, an intense year despite the difficulties of the pandemic that have affected us all!
It is not easy to summarize everything in a few lines, I have dealt with every sector of interest for Italians abroad, convinced of the importance of fulfilling my mandate with seriousness and dedication. The Italian political system rewards the majority, leaving little room for opposition. Therefore, many of my activities did not lead to the desired results and others, even though shared, have “changed paternity”, at least in the media. However, I consider it useful to report what has been done, albeit in summary. I will focus only on the latest initiatives.
I have tabled 24 amendments to the Budget, none of which have been taken into consideration. To me this does not seem to exemplify that constructive attitude and dialogue that should animate the majority and the opposition to build the common good together, especially in a difficult moment for our country, like this one. I have proposed amendments to:
- increase the staff assigned to consulates to improve services by implementing the use of new technologies
- support Italian exports and the protection of Made in Italy abroad
- support the internationalization of research
- guarantee a general practitioner for AIRE members
- exempt Italians abroad from paying the IMU tax on the first home in Italy, to encourage the return of tourism and eliminate obvious tax discrimination
- exempt from paying the TV subscription fee
- incentivize investments in Italy by AIRE members
- increase the institutional information towards the Italian communities abroad and the promotion of tourism of the origins.
All these amendments were rejected despite the majority saying they are in favor of most of these policies, but concretely unwilling to accept the demands of the opposition. It must also be said that the majority has achieved some results which, in part, are similar to many of my proposals. I favorably welcome them and congratulate them on the progress made. In the case of IMU reliefs of 50% for retirees residing abroad, however, it will be necessary to extend this concession to everyone, because in its current state, it is a half-way result that offers a “consolation prize” and creates inequality of treatment among AIRE members. For this reason, I had presented an agenda committing the Government to extend the IMU concessions on the first home to all AIRE members, to compensate for this injustice; but it too was rejected.
On the other hand, regarding parliamentary activity, beyond the budget law, I must emphasize that I managed to bring into discussion in the Montecitorio Chamber, my Motion on the safeguarding of the figure of Columbus, but it never reached the vote. I look forward to the vote before next Columbus Day.
A couple of my proposals have been accepted by the Government: a resolution in the Foreign Affairs Commission in which the Government commits “to take initiatives to urgently define a definitive date for the elections of the Comites …” which was approved unanimously. A fundamental step forward that will lead to setting a date for the elections of the Comites and therefore also the renewal of the CGIE: an important moment of participatory democracy. Finally, I consider my amendment to be a strategic result, which guaranteed the extraordinary financing of 5 million Euro for the Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad. In fact, they carry out a vital activity which, after this serious economic crisis, will be essential to support Italian companies in their internationalization processes. An activity that the Chambers, present in the social fabric of the foreign territory, will be able to share with their fellow citizens living abroad.
What more can I wish you for next year than for intelligence and political opportunity to prevail over the grim “faction” rules? It is true, at this moment I too am an expression of a party of opposition, which is why my activity is not always shared by the Government; but I am also sure, and I have always supported it, that if all the representatives of the people worked to achieve objectives, in the widespread interest of the citizens, we would waste less time and obtain immediate and profitable results. An attitude that I wish for the Government, whoever represents it.
Of one thing I am certain, next year as well and, in any case, as long as this Legislature lasts, I will work in the interest of Italians abroad regardless of their vote and ideology. I will always work so that the future can be better and bear good news. We need it to move beyond the pandemic and defeat it together. We build our life, as well as society, with our every action. Another year that closes to give way to 2021, I hope it brings health, serenity, and the awareness that, in the face of any fact or circumstance, we all, as the sum of people, stories, emotions and feelings, can make a difference. Best wishes and a big hug … obviously virtual.