Moroccan taxes and labor help prop up Italian economy

People move along a busy pedestrian shopping street in Rome, Italy, October 16, 2018. (Reuters)
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Updated 14 October 2020

Moroccan taxes and labor help prop up Italian economy

  • Moroccans are currently the largest non-EU immigrant community in Italy, mainly living in the northern regions of Lombardy, Piedmont and Emilia Romagna
  • It is an economically active community — 20 percent of the Moroccan community in Italy are entrepreneurs — many others are doctors

ROME: A study by the Leone Moressa Foundation, comparing the taxes paid by the 5.26 million migrants in Italy, has claimed immigrants provide a net benefit to the economy of €500 million ($587 million) per year.

Foreign workers in Italy produce 9.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), with their taxes worth €18 billion per annum — a figure that would be higher if revenues from undeclared work could be taken into account.

Data showed that immigrants from Morocco in particular possessed an “outstanding enterprise attitude” and “give remarkable financial resources to their host country.”

Moroccans are currently the largest non-EU immigrant community in Italy, mainly living in the northern regions of Lombardy, Piedmont and Emilia Romagna.

It is an economically active community — 20 percent of the Moroccan community in Italy are entrepreneurs. Many others are doctors, who have been active in Italian hospitals to combat the coronavirus disease.

“Figures show that the immigrants’ presence in Italy is a very productive one. The total of the taxes they pay covers the €3.3 billion spent on caring for migrants in reception centers after they arrive on boats from Africa, processing their asylum claims and offering them social-integration training,” Rossella Muroni, a member of the Italian Parliament from the Liberi e Uguali (Freedom and Equality) party told Arab News.

“That’s a good answer to those who accuse the immigrants of coming here only to steal jobs from Italians. The truth is that those who come here work to live. They support their families back home, of course, but they contribute to the national economy in a significant way too,” Muroni added. “Demographics tell us that it will be them who pay for the pensions of elderly Italians.”

Foreigners living legally in Italy make up 8.7 percent of the population. Romanians are the largest group, followed by Albanians, Moroccans and Chinese. All together they paid the state €26.6 billion in taxes in 2018, mostly while working low-paid jobs. The survey did not include illegal migrants, thought to number about 600,000.

An Italian government amnesty offer of a work permit has so far been answered by 220,000 illegal immigrants. Most of them were domestic cleaners, but many worked in the fields during and right after the country’s recent lockdown, saving this year’s harvest. 

“If they start paying taxes it will mean another €360 million a year for the state,” Enrico Di Pasquale, a researcher at the Leone Moressa Foundation, said.

In the past few days Italy has given the green light for 18,000 more non-EU seasonal workers to enter the country.  Requests can be sent online via the Italian Interior Ministry website until Dec. 3. 

The country’s largest farming association, Coldiretti, said the measure “is important for the work in the fields in the autumn, when harvesting is in full force; many farms are at risk of finding themselves without enough workers at the busiest time of the year for grapes, olives and fruit.”


CIA officer killed in Somalia: US media

Updated 12 min 18 sec ago

CIA officer killed in Somalia: US media

  • The US has some 700 troops training Somali forces and carrying out raids against Al-Shabab militants
  • Al-Shabab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, is estimated to have between 5,000 and 9,000 fighters

WASHINGTON: A CIA officer was killed in combat in Somalia in recent days, US media said Thursday without releasing details of how the agent died.
The veteran officer was a member of the CIA’s Special Activities Center, a paramilitary branch that carries out some of the US intelligence agency’s most dangerous tasks, The New York Times said.
The officer died of injuries sustained during an operation last week, according to CNN.
The CIA has not commented publicly on the death.
Washington has some 700 troops deployed in Somalia carrying out training of Somali forces and conducting counter-terrorism raids against the Al-Shabab militant group, which Washington designated a terrorist movement in 2008.
Earlier this month, Washington put on its terror blacklist the leader of an elite unit of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated group blamed for a January attack in Kenya that killed three Americans.
Al-Shabab is estimated to have between 5,000 and 9,000 fighters who have vowed to overthrow the Somali government, which is supported by some 20,000 troops from the African Union.
The slain US operative was a veteran of special forces operations, having previously been a member of the elite SEAL Team 6, the Times reported.
The outgoing administration of President Donald Trump is considering withdrawing all US forces from Somalia by the time he leaves office in January, the paper added.
At the start of his term, Trump gave the Pentagon a freer hand to expand their operations, with both air strikes and ground raids, in the war-ravaged African country.
But an official report released in February said that “despite continued US air strikes in Somalia and US assistance to African partner forces, Al-Shabab appears to be a growing threat that aspires to strike the US homeland.”