05:40 GMT25 February 2021
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    Almost 1.3 million Italians living in South America may be left without parliamentary representation and the right to vote if the government-proposed constitutional amendments are adopted, according to Sputnik's Spanish edition.

    The adoption of the Italian government-proposed constitutional amendments will mean that about 1.3 million Italians living in South America will be left without parliamentary representation and the right to vote, Sputnik's Spanish edition reported.

    On August 8, the Italian Court of Cassation approved the holding of a referendum on constitutional changes which would see the Senate's powers limited in hopes to put an end to deadlocked government and political paralysis, frequently seen in present-day Italy. The referendum is scheduled for December 4.

    Speaking to Sputnik's Spanish edition, Francesco Di Tillo, representative of the Commission for Saying No to the Referendum in Brazil, said that if the constitutional amendments are adopted, Italian immigrants will be unable to take part in forming the new Senate and will lose 6 representatives in the upper chamber.

    Italian immigrants in Buenos Aires' district of La Boca. File foto
    © AP Photo / Kike Calvo
    Italian immigrants in Buenos Aires' district of La Boca. File foto

    According to Di Tillo, at first glance the proposed constitutional changes seem to be a trifle, but in fact they are of paramount importance given that the very right to have representatives from immigrants in the Italian parliament was only achieved a short time ago. 

    "The constitutional reform will silence the voice of the diaspora", he said referring to the growing number of people leaving Italy due to the situation in the country.

    "Today, more and more Italians are leaving their country. Now, without a justified reason they will again remain without parliamentary representation instead of their feeling at home," Di Tillo said.

    According to the Italian Interior Ministry, nearly 700,000 Italians were registered in Argentina in 2014, while in Brazil and Venezuela, the number stood at 300,000 and 120,000, respectively, at the time. In Uruguay, 90,000 Italians were registered back then.

    "All these Italians will be left without any representative to defend their interests. That's why these constitutional changes are significant, Di Tillo pointed out.

    Meanwhile, thousands of Italian citizens living in Latin America have already received a letter signed by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi who asked them to say yes to the constitutional reform. The letter's text is illustrated with photographs of Renzi posing with several world leaders, including US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    Commenting on this, Di Tillo said that "the letter does not contain objective information on the reform, which does not allow voters to independently evaluate the proposal."

    As for the use of Renzi's photos with Merkel and Obama in the letter, they "make people laugh out loud rather than create a convincing impression," according to Di Tillo. 

    He said that the German Chancellor "is a nightmare for most Italians, regardless of their political views," and that after the US presidential elections supporting Obama, who backed the Italian constitutional reform, "does not mean anything."

    "As an Italian, I am concerned that during all these years that I have lived abroad, I have never received a letter from any Prime Minister worried about my condition or about the reasons why I'm here, or why those Italians who are interested in Italy's future here cannot or do not want to return home ", Di Tillo concluded.


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    amendments, proposal, referendum, government, immigrants, reform, Angela Merkel, Matteo Renzi, Barack Obama, Italy
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