29-08-2022 by Freddie del Curatolo
Italians in Africa have a candidate who 'plays at home' and in their favour in the general elections on 25 September. Antonio 'Tony' Amatulli, 39 years old and a resident of Durban in South Africa for almost ten years, is standing for the House of Representatives for the Democratic Party in the Asia, Africa, Oceania and Antarctica division. Amatulli is a teacher and president of the Dante Alighieri Committee of Durban and has long been active in the dissemination of the Italian language in South Africa and in other initiatives for the integration between our compatriots and local communities. He has already visited Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini, Tanzania, with a 'touch and go' in Kenya where he plans to return to learn more about the particularities and problems of the Italians living there.
As a matter of numbers of residents, usually the MP elected abroad in this wide intercontinental belt comes from Australia, but it is also the fractioning of AIRE members in Africa that never brings a 'strong' candidate who can serve the specific interests of Italians living in the countries of the African continent.
"The elections of Italians abroad have so far been very little decisive for our apportionment," confirms Amatulli, interviewed by Malindikenya.net, "or, rather, considered little incisive for the destinies of the Italians living there. This is for several reasons, which can however be summed up in two macros: the size of the breakdown and the inconsistency of the candidates. The profiles of those elected so far have always been the same, weak or non-existent programmes: for Italians abroad it's all pizza and sympathy!'.
Amatulli has different programme proposals and, for example, intends to focus both on the problems of young expats, which are increasing year by year, and pensioners who embrace the choice to live the 'best years of their lives' in Africa. Not only that, the PD candidate's 'insider' view is also focused on the economy.
"Despite the fact that the United States and China are the masters on the African continent," Amatulli thinks, "the opening of free trade areas could also be of interest to Italian companies, which could enter and fill gaps and new demands. Especially in the African market, new partnerships and joint ventures could arise, with a view to sustainable development and the defence of human rights. The wide range and recognised quality of Italian small and medium-sized enterprises could take on a leading and guiding role, tracing new markets and new routes for exports and investments. A macro-area, the African one, in economic expansion and rapid change, which deserves centrality in the application of growth diplomacy, understood not only as a policy to redesign Italy's international diplomatic relations but, in a much broader sense, as an action to redesign new outlets and investment spaces for our economy'.
The issue of double taxation and the agreements that many countries, such as Kenya, have not yet reached with Rome, returns whenever there is talk of institutions spending themselves on the benefits of those who would like to move to countries where, beyond job opportunities, they would have economic advantages.
'There are many Italians living abroad who, in the absence of an agreement between Italy and the country where they reside, are subject to double taxation,' confirms Tony Amatulli. 'This I believe is neither reasonable nor profitable, nor ultimately acceptable. It is necessary to move quickly to stimulate dialogue with the many countries with which Italy has no administrative agreement to encourage the conclusion of Conventions as soon as possible. Double taxation for Italians abroad is no longer tolerable'. In the programmatic points developed by the 'African' candidate (you can learn more by clicking on his website www.scriviamatulli.com) there are also scholarships for Italians born in Africa, maternity allowances and subsidies for mothers, and health aid for elderly indigent residents.
"There will be a lot to do, to bring together the best people and experiences of the countries of the breakdown, in order to produce synergies in extremely important fields such as those of cooperation and enterprise,' Amatulli concludes, 'and Africa is right to have the central role it deserves.
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