The growth of right-wing nationalism in this year’s election has made the future of economic migration to Italy incredibly difficult. The 2018 Italian general election was held on the 4th of March 2018 after the Italian Parliament was dissolved by President Sergio Mattarella on 28 December 2017. The results saw a centre-right coalition form a government made up of Matteo Salvini’s right-wing league and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement led by Luigi Di Majo.
The outgoing centre-left Democratic Party government had a soft stance on immigration and suffered an economic slump that saw many intelligent Italians emigrate overseas leading to Italy’s swing to the right.
In Italian immigrant centres, economic migrants are given mobile phones, €3 a day and free accommodation. Plus, lessons in driving cars and local work skill shop lessons. On average this costs the Italian citizen€35 a day (nearly €13,000 a year) and can be seen as a factor in the rise of right-wing nationalism.
The migrant crisis also had a large effect on the election. Salvini’s league won a majority in the election due in part to their widely praised immigration policy which promised to deport over 500,000 economic migrants. The combined government has a strong stance against economic migrants and are planning to execute an overall crackdown on immigration. Migrant rescues co-ordinated by Italian authorities in the Mediterranean Sea have already declined over the past year. Additionally, there has been a move to down all arrivals in Italian ports deterring economic migrants all together.
Italy having a tough stance on immigration is nothing new.In 1992 a unique law passed in which children born in Italy to non-native parents could only apply for citizenship once they reached the age of 18 and remained in Italy since birth. The law demonstrates that Italy has a history of willingness to toughen its border control. Migration to Italy has never been more difficult and things don’t look like changing.