Coronavirus in Italy: massive regularization of agricultural workers
Each year, thousands of immigrants, many of them from Africa, flock to the fields and orchards of southern Italy (illustration image). REUTERS / Tony Gentile
Text by: Anne Le Nir
As part of the new "Recovery Decree" to support the country's economy brought to its knees by the Covid-19 crisis (55 billion euros for businesses, families and the unemployed), Italy will regularize hundreds of thousands of illegal workers essential to the agriculture and personal services sectors.
From our correspondent in Rome,
It was the most delicate measure of the government which, moreover, caused strong friction in the majority parties. But this decision, ardently defended by the President of the Council, Giuseppe Conte, and the Minister of Agriculture Teresa Bellanova who, moved to tears, declared " the invisible will become a little more visible ", is necessary for three reasons.
Without immigrant farm workers, the country's crops are threatened and may never reach supermarket shelves. Without a residence permit, illegal workers cannot access the public health system. Hence the significant risks of new foci of contagion by the coronavirus.
Finally, bringing moonlighting to work means fighting against the mafias which, with the Covid-19 crisis, are infiltrating even more, in many sectors.
The last massive regularization of some 300,000 immigrants dates back to 2009, when Silvio Berlusconi was in power.
► Read also: Italy will establish a "green corridor" with Romania to rescue its agriculture
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