'Ius soli' migrant kid citizenship law put off 'till autumn' (3)
Gentiloni says no majority
17 Luglio 2017
Rome, July 17 - A 'ius soli' bill granting the children of regular immigrants citizenship if they are born on Italian soil and have completed five years in the Italian school system has been put off until the autumn, Premier Paolo Gentiloni said at the weekend. "Unfortunately, we'll have to put the bill off, the numbers aren't there" he said, vowing to make it a priority when parliament comes back after the summer recess. Gentiloni said he could not risk a confidence vote on the controversial measure as the junior government partner, the centre-right Popular Area (AP), are against the bill. Ius soli is Latin for law of the soil. Newspapers said Monday the bill would probably go onto a "dead-end" track in parliament and would be put off until the next legislature. AP leader, Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, said Monday that Gentiloni had shown "realism" in the face of his small centre-right group's opposition to the bill in the midst of a migrant emergency in Italy. "It is a correct decision, marked by realism and common sense," said Alfano. Centre-right and rightwing populist forces like the anti-immigrant Northern League (LN) have sought to portray the bill as granting immediate citizenship to babies born of the thousands of migrants now arriving in Italy. Some 86,000 have arrived so far this year, a 10% increase on the same period last year. AP's Regional Affairs Minister, Enrico Costa, had threatened to quit if the bill became law. On the opposition side, three-time premier and media magnate Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party also welcomed the postponement and possible shelving of a bill it had depicted as a gift to the migrant waves. FI Lower House Whip Renato Brunetta spoke of "another defeat" for the leader of Gentiloni's ruling centre-left Democratic Party (PD), ex-premier Matteo Renzi. He said the postponement to the autumn was in fact "a postponement to the year of St Never". The postponement was criticised by the leader of a leftwing PD splinter, Roberto Speranza, who said "the PD is following the right". PD House Whip Ettore Rosato slammed what he described as "political speculation" that had, for the moment, sunk a "sacrosanct" bill. LN leader Matteo Salvini said "if they try it on again we'll block parliament".