A hairdresser of foreign origins working in Milan | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/DANIEL DAL ZENNARO
A hairdresser of foreign origins working in Milan | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/DANIEL DAL ZENNARO

An immigration statistics dossier on 2021 published by the Rome-based IDOS Study and Research Center reports that remittances from foreign residents of Italy towards their countries of origin rose to 7.7 billion euros in 2021, the highest level in the past decade.

"Despite the upsets of the past two years, remittances from foreigners living in Italy to countries of origin rose significantly compared with the unexpected rise in 2020 of 12.5%," the IDOS Study and Research Center reported in a new dossier presented last week (October 27).

It added that "money transfers abroad through payment institutes and other authorised intermediaries totalled 7.7 billion euros in 2021, a 14.3% rise on 2020 and amid steady rises since 2016."

This is the highest rise of the past decade, IDOS noted. In the five-year period between 2007 and 2011, remittances "resilient" to an international crisis rose to over €7 billion transferred every year, and they rose to a record 8 billion in 2011, accounting for almost half a percentage point of GDP compared with the current 0.44%.

The growth trend "will probably continue into 2022, seeing as the remittances sent from Italy in the first quarter of the current year rose by 7.7% compared with the first quarter of the previous year, showing similar characteristics and dynamics to those seen in 2021," the dossier stated.

Top nationalities

The foreign community that sent the most money in 2021 (about €873 million, or 11.3% of the total) was that of Bangladesh, followed by Pakistan (597 million, or 7.7%), and that of the Philippines (590 million or 7.6%).

These destinations saw a sizeable rise in 2021, from 20% to 35%.

Rising significantly were also the volumes of remittances sent to Morocco (+27.7%) and Senegal (+19.6%), as well as towards Peru, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic (+14/16%).

A drop was instead seen towards Romania (-6.8%) in its seventh consecutive year of decreases, as well as towards Ukraine (-6.2%)."

Libyan MoU 'moves forward despite torture'

In addition to figures on remittances, revenue, economic.contribution, and the foreign population in Italy, the dossier also issued a warning about a Memorandum of Understanding between Italy and Libya that has been criticized strongly by NGOs but that will be automatically renewed in November unless the government halts it.

"The solutions proposed by the (EU's) New Pact on Migration and Asylum of September 2020 to overcome weaknesses of the system raise many serious questions and avoid dealing with the main issue, i.e. the broadening of legal migration channels," the report stated.

"Paradigmatic is the case of the outsourcing of Italian borders to Libya, which -- following the 'migration crisis' of 2015 and the successive Italian-Libyan MoU -- made it possible to create detention centers and a coast guard, both managed by the Government of National Accord under Sarraj.

"Despite overwhelming evidence of torture and exploitation of migrants and refugees, conditions that were called by an independent mission of the UN Human Rights Council in October 2021 as 'war crimes and crimes against humanity', in recent years Italy and the EU have continued to finance Libyan forces to intercept migrant boats," the report stated.

In the past year alone, 32,450 people were reportedly intercepted at sea and taken back to Libya.

The 32nd edition of the immigration statistics dossier was published by IDOS in collaboration with Confronti and Istituto di Studi Politici "S.Pio V".


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