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(en) Italy: Alternativa Libertaria, April 2005 - Dear Minister... (it)

From Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici <internazionale@fdca.it>
Date Tue, 5 Apr 2005 16:02:16 +0200 (CEST)

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This letter was sent before the issuing of a circular in every province of
Italy regarding the accepting of job applications by non-EU workers. Everyone
breathed a sigh of relief when it was learnt that applications could be sent by
post and not at the usual all-night queues, and that the minimum income of the
applicant had been lowered on the request of a carer (now you just need a
monthly income which is double your wage packet). However, in no province has
the number of requests allowed been announced and for many nationalities the
State has imposed stringent quotas which make it practically impossible to
employ the applicant. An example: at 8.01am on 3rd February, 70 registered
letters were sent to the Provincial Labour Directorate in Pesaro, and so on for
every successive minute. But the quota for Moldovan workers is 14 people... in
total! Single agreements between the State and non-EU countries decide who gets
in and who doesn't. The State then allocates quotas which are not revealed...
and manages them in a none-too-clear way with agencies like the catholic


Dear Minister,

There's a little old woman of 90 in my building who has a carer, a girl who
sleeps there and looks after her, who she treats like a daughter.

A few weeks ago I read an article where you declared that you would not sign an
amnesty allowing carers working illegally to declare themselves so that they
can become legally employed and something you said struck me: you said that you
thought this type of job should be done by Italians.

How on earth is it possible for this old lady to find some live-in help and who
is Italian for less than 1,000 Euro a month? And above all, how is she expected
to pay for it out of her pension? I am sure your words came from some other
part of your body and not your head, because as you must know only too well the
job situation in Italy means it is impossible to find someone willing to live
in and take on the responsibility for an elderly person for less than 1,000
Euro a month. Of course, I am talking about elderly people who quite rightly
wish to go on living in their own houses. But if you are suggesting they go and
live in a home, that would only be worse. The charges are enormous and often
family members are asked to sign the elderly patient's house over to the home.
And in exchange for what? An existance in a place with no memories and no loved

Maybe your "advice" is the result of your party's adversion to those that you
call "foreigners" living in Italy, seeing that you feel you are being "invaded"
by people who are simply looking for work. Over the years I have met many who
are generous and full of curiosity about our country and I can assure you that
it gives me no pleasure at all to discover that many carers who look after the
elderly ("our" elderly people, as you would no doubt say) are practically
forced to remain indoors for ever because they are afraid of being arrested,
who cannot obtain work insurance, who cannot open a bank account or obtain

It strikes me as strange that we have even invented a new word, "carer" for a
job which, though very important, has yet to be legitimized fully.

I have heard about the "Flows" that your government opens every now and then to
allow "foreign" people to obtain a permit to work in Italy, and that the dates
of these "Entry Flows" are as eagerly awaited as the Second Coming.

A well-informed woman told me that in order to take on a carer, the government
has established that the applicant must have a family income of over 45,000
Euro! Doesn't this figure seem a bit exorbitant? Do you really think pensioners
have the same income as parliamentarians?

basically, I don't understand these limitations and this desire to deny dignity
and work to "carers", who often come to our country in order to improve their
economic situations (and who often have degrees and qualifications), and who
would prefer to learn a new job without having to hide away.

I object to your Government's trying to limit people's freedom. We should be
free to hire whoever we want whenever we want. In fact, in a just society we
would be pooling our resources to help the elderly remain independent in cases
where their pension does not allow it. It would mean not only "legalizing"
these carers but increasing care allowances or helping these workers through
social insurance contributions. It may be that as I write you have already
decided the "Flows" for 2005, the numbers that everyone waits for like they
were lot-tery numbers. Then there will be a stampede for the queues with who
knows what new rules: night-time queues, queues at the post office, trips to
embassies? This is no way to do things and you know it, Minister. It is not
right that laws are made and money is available for the good of the powerful,
but that there are only restrictions for the workers, of whatever race they be.

And in the meantime, what is this 90-year-old lady to do? She hopes that her
carer stays with her because she knows her now and they trust each other... and
she asks me to tell you that if she really has to have an Italian to change her
nappy, then you, with respect, are welcome... when you have time.

"A Neighbour"


Alternativa Libertaria, April 2005
News-sheet of the Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici

Available in pdf format from the federation's website

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