From file: Migrants celebrate Labour Day in Milan with a march organized by Italian unions Cigl, Cisl and Uil | Photo: ANSA/Matteo Bazzi
From file: Migrants celebrate Labour Day in Milan with a march organized by Italian unions Cigl, Cisl and Uil | Photo: ANSA/Matteo Bazzi

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi has announces that his government plans to soon issue its first decree on migration. One possible change: They want to tie the number of migrants allowed to work in Italy to their home countries willingness to halt irregular migration.

The Italian government is working on the first decree on migration flows in this legislative cycle. "We discussed it among ministers following the issue to begin launching the initial groundwork. We are working on it, I do not rule out that we will finalize the decree", announced the Minister of Interior, Matteo Piantedosi.

Not enough farmworkers

For the moment no figures are known regarding the measure. Coldiretti, Italy's main farmers association, has said that it hopes that permits will be available for 100,000 workers for the agricultural sector.

The minister of agriculture, Francesco Lollobrigida, explained that "there are hundreds of thousands of jobs available in the agriculture sector. There is an alarm in the agricultural field that calls for hiring human resources that the internal market no longer provides. For this reason they reach out to [the authorities in charge of] the migration flow decree, which entails the need to plan ahead, at the end of the year based on data showing what has already taken place."

Government looking into available workforce already in Italy

The government aims to assess how many of those who are already present in Italy can be employed before bringing foreigners from abroad. This means that the number of new migrant workers allowed into the country will depend the number of residents -- Italian and foreign -- who are receiving basic income payments from the state and can work in the different areas covered by the decree, from fieldwork to transport, from construction to tourism and hotels.

The decree, according to Piantedosi, "will have to take into account the lack of availability on national territory of certain employee profiles. And this is where the issue concerns those who benefit from the minimum income by the state who will be able to take on some of these work opportunities".

According to the interior ministry, employers "who wishes to hire a foreigner who resides abroad, either with a fixed term contract or indefinitely, [will be required] to document the lack of availability of workers already present on national territory."

Quotas to depend on countries willingness to stop migration, take back deportees

Another possible change that the new government wants to introduce, according to the minister of the interior, would be to tie country arrival quotas to their own ability to stop irregular departures toward Italy and to accept the repatriation of those who reached Italy irregularly.

"The government's objective is to substitute the irregular migration flows with a shared mechanism, allowing countries to activate training procedures on site through diplomatic offices and to grant visas aimed at concrete working opportunities in our country", said Piantedosi. "In exchange we need to ask for commitment to stop departures and for the repatriation of illegal migrants."


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