‘Ius soli’ an EU issue says Di Maio

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(ANSA) – ROME, MAR 18 – The right for migrant children born
in Italy to get automatic Italian citizenship, or ‘ius soli’
(law of the soil) in Latin, is a European issue, Foreign
Minister Luigi Di Maio said Thursday.
    Speaking to Spanish daily El Pais, Di Maio said the issue should
be discussed at the European Union level.
    The issue has caused a renewed row in Italy after new Democratic
Party (PD) leader Enrico Letta cited the right, which it has
long supported, as one of the PD’s policy priorities under the
national unity government of former European central banker
Mario Draghi.
    This sparked a sharp response from nationalist League leader
Matteo Salvini who accused Letta of wanting to bring the
government down over the issue, which has long been a bugbear
for the right.
    Di Maio, whose populist 5-Star MOvement (M5S) is an ally of the
PD, told EL Pais: “I’m not against (ius soli), I don’t want to
go against the proposal of Enrico Letta, whom I esteem and
trust, but the European Union is planning a pact for immigration
and asylum, so when we talk of citizenship, in my view we must
coordinate at a European level”.
    Currently migrant children born on Italian soil can apply for
citizenship when they become adults at the age of 18, and it
takes some time for the process to be completed.
    Salvini’s League also backs Draghi’s national unity government
which features all of Italy’s major parties except from the
nationalist Brothers of Italy (FdI).
    The centre-left PD and the rightwing anti-migrant and
Euroskeptic League have long been fierce foes.
    Di Maio is a former leader of the formerly anti-establishment
M5S, which ruled with the League from 2018 to 2019 before
forming an unexpected alliance with the PD that backed Giuseppe
Conte’s second government from 2020 to early 2021. (ANSA).


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