ROME: Italy's government has delayed a parliamentary vote on a citizenship rights bill as tensions rise over the number of migrants arriving on the country's shores.
The proposal to give children born on Italian soil to foreign parents citizenship rights at birth or after at least five years of Italian schooling enjoys the support of Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni's centre-left Democratic Party (PD). But Gentiloni said late Sunday that the bill would be dropped until later in the year considering other "urgent deadlines" and "difficulties that have arisen on certain fringes of the majority".
He gave his "personal commitment" to ensure the bill was approved in the autumn. Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, who leads a small centrist party in the ruling coalition, had said that while the bill had his support in principle, he could not guarantee the necessary votes in favour considering the current climate. A poll last week showed the bill is losing support among Italians, even though such a path to citizenship exists in many other EU countries, and despite supporters insisting the draft law has nothing to do with newly-arrived migrants.
Published in Daily Times, July 18th, 2017.