IMPORTANT new citizenship law will require Italian test


Moderator: Daniel

Postby Anonymous » Sat Aug 26, 2006 12:59 am

The Deputy Minister, Senators, Parliament, Prime Minister, NOR ANYONE else in the Italian government has EVER made any statement regarding the Jure Sanguinis laws to be reconsidered or changed.

Please point out the article in which it was said, as I could not find it in the link given. I only found a reference to the 1860 law of jure sanguinis and about the ancestors of Italian citizens before that date, which has nothing to do with us. I only found the artcile refering to immigration. As for being worried, I am not, as I can read much Italian anyway.

If possible, copy and paste the exact sentence and exact location of this phrase, so that I can read it in the supposed article. I want to read for myself where the Minister or ANYONE makes a reference to applicants per Jure Sanguinis should be made to learn the language. Again, I am disputing the fact that ANY article exists by ANY Italian government official, in regards to forcing Italian citizens to learn Italian and making any changes to the existing jure sanguinis law

deputy minister's speech to parliament

Postby Muddoni » Sat Aug 26, 2006 2:44 am

for angiolo's benefit, as he seems not to be able to follow my link:

"Tanto che da più parti si sta avanzando l'ipotesi, che ritengo utile approfondire, di subordinare il riconoscimento della cittadinanza alla conoscenza, anche basilare, della lingua italiana."

It's very clear from his words that they're thinking about adding the test. Now if you don't speak italian, well i'm sorry!!

This is taken from the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy, and it is the 7/4/2006 formal audit of the Deputy Minister Danieli (responsible for Italian citizens abroad) in front of the Constitutional Affairs committee of the Chamber of Deputies, and the Foreign Affairs committee of the Senate.
Basically in this audit EVERYONE INVOLVED WITH MODIFYING CITIZENSHIP LAW was in the room.

If you guys write again that no italian authorities are considering adding a basic italian test to jure sanguinis citizenship recognition I'll officially start worrying about your honesty.
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 11:39 am
Location: Jersey City

Postby Muddoni » Sat Aug 26, 2006 3:37 am

To help Angiolo and everyone else who does not understand italian, and for the sake of precision, I also decided to translate the previously commented text, which is the government program of the deputy minister, announced to parliament after his nomination. If you don't trust my translation you're welcome to ask around..

Mind, again, it is no ordinary speech: Mr Danieli, in front of Parliament on 07/04/2006 "wishes to announce the program he will follow as a Deputy Minister for Italians Abroad". (first line)

Angiolo thought the Deputy Minister was making reference to a 1860 legislation. Wrong. (This is exactly why many people want recognition to be dependent on the proof of basic knowledge of Italian: hard to be a decent citizen if you don't understand what your legislator says...)

Back to the program:

" 3. Citizenship ...We witness today an explosion of the recognition requests, that our Consulates cannot handle in this number.
As a matter of fact Italian iure sanguinis citizenship can be obtained through an ancestor who emigrated even as far back as in 1800, and who died after 1860, and recognition is sometimes requested by people who don't even speak Italian and clearly have no link, not even a sentimental link, to our country.
Also our consulates have to handle a backlog of about 250.000 requests, which will be processed only in a long period of time (sometimes years).

But now we are working, incorportating different political perspectives, on an hypothesis that I think merits to be explored in depth. That is, to subordinate such recognition to basic knowledge of Italian.
After all, this same requirement is already in place for those who are from Istria, Dalmazia, and Fiume, (...) and it exists in other European legislations .."

Mr. Danieli continues explaining why adding such a requirement would be feasible .

(You might wonder: besides the prevalent need of assuring cultural integration of the 'recognized citizens',why would the test save the consulates work? Cause it could be automatised, take up only a few minutes, allowing to immediately discard requests of those who don't pass the test. On the contrary, although we sometimes don't realize it, following all the formal steps that build up a recognition file takes many long hours to citizenship offices. )

Note that is the speech where Deputy Minister Danieli announced his program to Parliament. You can find it at

I hope this is clear enough. Please understand I do this to help everyone get the best possible information and I try to use the fact that Italian is my first language.

Ciao Ciao e studiate l'Italiano che e' bello!
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 11:39 am
Location: Jersey City

Postby Em » Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:38 am


First, I'd like to thank you for limiting this posting to one thread. It simplifies our discussion tremendously.

Second, I speak, read (i giornali inclusa), and write Italian; and my husband was born and raised in Italy. Don't make the assumption that my disagreement with your premise is based on concern about my eligibility or that I lack an understanding of Italy, its culture and language.

Third, I don't disagree that what you said happened, happened; and I don't think you are misquoting the deputy Minister. I do, however, disagree with your interpretation of what has transpired.

Signore Danieli is clearly displeased with the number of jure sanguinis applicants, and he makes this clear, but a speech before a "committee" in parliament by an appointed official is a far cry from imminent change in legislation. Given the rapidity (I'm being sarcastic here :wink: ) with which things are done in Italy, I sincerely doubt there is a cause for alarm.

As you are aware, legislation has been introduced that would liberalize immigration policy. Among the changes proposed is that the ten-year residency requirement be reduced to five years, and those born in Italy would be permitted to apply for citizenship before their 18th birthday. These are only a two of the provisions, but even these minor changes have engendered a great deal of controversy and the passage of this bill into law is not certain. Among the modifications suggested is a language proficiency requirement. This, too, has not been approved; and keep in mind that this legislation ONLY refers to those obtaining citizenship through naturalization.

You say that deputy Ministers are taken very seriously in Italy. In my experience everyone is taken very seriously in Italy. I am a high school teacher with a masters degree. In Italy I would be a "dottoressa" and a "professoressa" :lol: . But the deputy serves in an advisory capacity only. He is not an Italian authority; he is an appointed bureaucrat who can make suggestions (and, by the way, his statements ARE presented as "suggestions"), but he has no power to introduce legislation. AT THIS TIME, HAS ANY LEGISLATOR WITH SUCH POWER INDICATED AN INTENT (OR EVEN A WILLINGNESS) TO INTRODUCE SUCH LEGISLATION? I don't think so.

This was your statement Giuseppe: "But Em knows italian legislation better than the italian goverment?? WOW.. " Allow me to respond. I do NOT know Italian legislation better than the Italian government, but I DO know the difference between "law" and a "suggestion." It is an important distinction to which you should take note.

My statement that the deputy Minister is ignorant regarding citizenship laws was based on his rhetoric. One cannot change requirements for citizenship recognition without first modifying Italy's definition of what constitutes citizenship. Signore Danieli is guilty of "putting the cart before the horse," and thus his proposals lack a degree of credibility.

Understand, too, that I have no objections to citizens per jure sanguinis studying Italian. It think, in fact, that it's an excellent idea. But I don't think that the information you have provided indicates an imminent change in Italian policy regarding inherited citizenship, and your posting of this information (and your manner of posting) has caused some of our members to panic needlessly.

You have presented information; I accept that information as fact. I do not, however, agree with your conclusions. In the end, neither you, Angiolo, nor I have a crystal ball. What will happen will happen. But as it stands today, the laws regarding citizenship have not changed; nor has any legislation to that effect been introduced in the Italian parliament. If you think some time in the future this will happen, you may be correct. You may also be wrong.

In my opinion, there is no need for jure sanguinis citizens to worry about some nebulous legislation that MAY BE introduced sometime in the future. We are dealing with the law as it is today, and the current law is the law with which we must comply.

One additional comment if I may. You accused me of making "harsh statements," and, quite honestly, I don't understand why--unless you believe that anyone who disagrees with you is "harsh." If I have hurt your feelings, I do apologize, but frankly I don't know what I'm apologizing for.
Last edited by Em on Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Posts: 3028
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:57 am

Postby Anonymous » Sat Aug 26, 2006 10:20 am

EM, I would still like to read where ANYONE is proposing a change to jure sanguinis. I still have not read where it says that. Could you point it out to me?. I feel my knowledge of Italian is sufficient to read a simple article and then some, and I cannot find anything on the subject

I dispute what is being said, that a deputy minister is proposing a change, until I read it for myself. I only ask that you or anyone point it out to me. The article or link that was given does not in anyway make any such statements to jure sanguinis, and I read it twice now. I am not panicking, as I can read Italian and speak it sufficiently, and maintain that there is not one mention of it anywhere.

Postby Em » Sat Aug 26, 2006 10:46 am

If I understand Giuseppe's posting correctly, the deputy minister made a speech to a committee of the Italian parliament suggesting, a change. He does not have the authority to actually propose a change since he does not serve in a legislative capacity. That's probably why you're not finding anything. (OK, Giuseppe, don't get upset at my next comment; I'm not being harsh, only having fun. If you want to ensure that something will NOT get done, form a committee.)

More to the point, to my knowledge, no legislator with authority to introduce such legislation to parliament has made such a proposal or has in any way suggested that he/she intends to introduce such proposed legislation. Until that happens (if it ever happens) I don't understand the fuss.

In addition, most of us have already submitted or will soon submit our documents for consideration. If Italy ever does redefine citizenship, it is unlikely anyone now posting will be affected.
Last edited by Em on Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Posts: 3028
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:57 am

Postby Anonymous » Sat Aug 26, 2006 10:55 am

EM, thanks. I can`t even find where a "suggestion" was made for change. Anyway, as you said, those who have already submitted their documents will not be affected anyway, and nobody else will be either anytime soon. However, (like you). I do believe one should learn the language for many reasons.

Anyway, am still jealous of you being in NYC consulate

Postby Muddoni » Sat Aug 26, 2006 12:23 pm

Em ,I don't know why you speak about the Italian lawmaking process if you are still familiarising with it. You are confusing a lot of people in my opinion. I have at this point to add that I graduated from law in Italy and will be happy to clarify a couple things .

A deputy minister DOES HAVE THE AUTHORITY to propose legislation.
He is not a beaurocrat or a civil servant. Quite to the opposite, he is a politician (Danieli has been elected by the voters this past spring), and selected among the majority members of parliament as a member of cabinet. As a member of cabinet his job is exactly to draft legislation that is sent to parliament for approval.

The instrument he does it with is called Decreto Legge or Decreto Legislativo.

Last month's modification on citizenship through marriage are following exactly this path. Suggested by cabinet, then sent to parliament for approval.

So back to the point: the Italian government is seriously considering modifying jure sanguinis legislation (and it does have the authority to do so, together with parliament) adding a test on knowledge of Italian.

Got it now?
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 11:39 am
Location: Jersey City

Postby Em » Sat Aug 26, 2006 1:40 pm

I do indeed "get it," but a member of cabinet is, as you yourself point out, an appointed position. He was not elected to the cabinet; he was appointed by parliament.

I am willing to accept your premise that he has the right to propose legislation (although I'm not totally convinced). However, he clearly has NOT done so. In fact, if we examine his wording carefully--and for simplicity, I will use your translation--Signore Danieli simply made a suggestion as to the feasibility of such an action. He has "suggested" that this be "considered". Neither Signore Danieli nor anyone in the legislature has proposed (or stated an intention to propose) legislation to that effect.

By the way, you state that the current immigration proposal was "suggested by cabinet and sent to the legislature for approval." Are you saying that "suggestions" are then voted into law? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't you skipped a step? I think the "suggestion" must first be drafted as a proposed amendment to current law. It would then be discussed, possibly modified and then submitted for a vote.

Your law degree qualifies you to speak of the legal process (BTW, I'm wondering, since you list Jersey City as your residence, if you now practice law in the U.S.). But, I digress. A legal degree, as I'm sure you will agree, does not automatically make your opinion on law infallible. I posed this question to my nephews (both Italian lawyers), and they are less confident of the direction legislation will take than you or I seem to be. Does that mean you are wrong? Does it mean I'm wrong? Not necessarily. It does, however, demonstrate that the impact of Mr. Danieli's "suggestion" is subject to interpretation even within the legal profession.

And so, Giuseppe, the facts are there, and we agree on those facts. Our opinions, however differ. Signore Danieli has made a "suggestion." You interpret it as an imminent change in the law. I interpret it as political posturing that is unlikely to have an impact any time soon on jure sanguinis processing. This in and of itself is not a problem. It's only when we elevate our opinions to the level of fact that we run into difficulty. So I think it's time to end this discussion and agree to disagree.

Have I made any harsh statements? :wink:
User avatar
Posts: 3028
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:57 am

Postby Muddoni » Sat Aug 26, 2006 7:16 pm

I really don't see where the insult or the attack is, my friend.

As you ackonwledged, and I am happy we can end the conversation on this note, you are no expert of the italian legislation or constitution, just as I am no expert of the American one (or for that matter of english, language: thanks for correcting my spelling, every chance to learn is welcome).

I'll certainly refrain from advising on American legislation and politics. You should be a tad more careful on Italian legislation and politics. If this is offending you I apologize but don't see where the offence is.

I assure you I have no anthipaty for the jure sanguinis process as my goal was simply to give the insight of someone who follows and is professionally trained on italian legislative matters, and a native speaker, to the debate. I really don't see why my personal status would matter in this regard: I have the highest respect for all positions. And just to make it clear, let me stress I am a happy and thankful guest, during my tenure here, of the US.

I really wish all applicants the best. And recommend that they study our beautiful language.

The modifications we discussed are being considered in Parliament (see acts of Parliament throughout august 2006), they are not a new law yet. That's what I meant by in the works. Sorry if my english is sometimes less than precise. I suggest everyone to follow italian media to understand how the debate evolves.

Be good, read a good Italian book and don't take it personally Em. Thanks for the chicken little story btw. I enjoyed the movie too.
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 11:39 am
Location: Jersey City

Postby Muddoni » Sat Aug 26, 2006 7:27 pm

oh and by the way Deputy Ministers ( just as Ministers) are appointed by the President of the Republic, not by Parliament. The cabinet then goes to parliament per il voto della fiducia.

It's such a beautiful constitution, we should start a thread on it some day.
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 11:39 am
Location: Jersey City

Postby Anonymous » Sat Aug 26, 2006 7:33 pm

EM, this moron for one thing IS NOT an attorney. secondly, he IS NOT fluent in Italian, as his attempt to pass the article off as something pertaining to Jure sanguinis, is proof of his inability to read Italian. Thirdly, since he is stupid of the Italian language, it is certainly not his "first language" or mother tongue.

I see now that he was completely irritated with your apparent educational level, which undermined everything he has to say.

and EM, there IS NO reference or "suggestion" to any test being given to any applicant as per Jure Sanguinis, nor mentioned by any Italian official

I personally challenge this idiot to TRANSLATE the following article, written by none other than MYSELF to the comune regarding a permesso.

Nel continuare la disamina dell`art. 5 bisogna disquisire sul rinnovo del permesso di soggiorno. Il rinnovo del permesso di soggiorno deve sempre essere richiesto al Questore della provincia ove lo straniero dimora con congruo anticipo rispetto alla scadenza ed e` sottoposto alle stesse condizioni necessarie per il rilascio, oltre alla dimostrazione che lo straniero ha redditi sufficienti per vivere onestamente in Italia. Il rinnovo
non e` concesso quando lo straniero abbia interrotto il soggiorno in Italia per oltre sei mesi ovvero, se il permesso e` rilasciato per un periodo almeno biennale, per un tempo superiore alla meta` della durata del permesso stesso. L`art. 14 del regolamento prevede la possibilita` di conversione del permesso di soggiorno rilasciato per motivi di lavoro o familiari, che puo` quindi essere utilizzato anche per le altre
attivita` consentite allo straniero.

I will love this!

Postby Em » Sat Aug 26, 2006 7:46 pm

Giuseppe, as you were writing your post, I was editing mine. I included an addendum that I hope you will read because I did indeed know that my post was "dripping with sarcasm," and I didn't want to end it like that.

Perhaps I, too, used an incorrect term. It was what I perceived as condescension to which I objected. You used a typical lawyer trick--sorry, but you know I'm right here--an emotional appeal that attempts to diminish the validity of an argument by focusing on an insignificant error. Sometimes we don't communicate as well as we might like with the written word, and offense is taken where none was meant. If I did this, I apologize.

I did actually have a reason for asking about your status because I've been trying to determine the reason that jure sanguinis citizenship has become as contoversial as it has. Of course, there are the obvious ones:

- the sheer volume of applicants
- the perceived attack on the Italian culture and language
- the right to vote given to people who may never have set foot in Italy.

I think, however, there are more subtle reasons, and perhaps as an Italian you can provide input. Despite my eligibility, I think the jure sanguinis process is inherently unfair (BTW, that doesn't mean I won't be taking advantage of it :wink: ). Some inequities:

- My husband was born and raised in Italy and became a naturalized American as an adult. I will have Italian citizenship, but unless he lives in Italy for a year, he will not. Who, though, is really more Italian?
- I was born Italy; my parents come to the U.S., where my sister is born. I am naturalized as a minor with my parents; my sister, born in the U.S., is a citizen jure sanguinis.
- I am born in 1947 to an Italian mother--not a citizen; a child is born in 1973 with a great great great great great grandfather who was Italian. The rest of his family is from Ireland. He is Italian.

I can go on, of course, and I'm sure you can come up with a few more. But how about this one? My grandfather was Italian and because he naturalized after my father's birth, I am a citizen jure sanguinis. Lucky me--I was born in the U.S. so I am also an American citizen. Italians born in Italy do not have this dual citizenship option. American citizenship is difficult to obtain; Italian citizenship is considerably easier. I can understand some resentment from those born in Italy, particularly when the newly minted Italian citizens know nothing about Italy.

I love to have your thoughts since we're friends again. :lol:

Angiolo, I'm your friend, too. Let's all try to stop the arguing and get back to doing what we should be doing--helping each other. My blood pressure doesn't do well when we don't play nicely.

Regarding the appointment of Italian ministers, I appreciate the clarification. You wrote in an earlier posting that the ministers were selected by parliament, so I actually obtained the incorrect information from you (page 2; posting 12). I think you may be referring to a practice that's similar to the one used in the U.S. The President appoints; Congress approves.
Last edited by Em on Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:08 pm, edited 5 times in total.
User avatar
Posts: 3028
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:57 am

Postby Muddoni » Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:11 pm

Angiolo: fossi in te me l'infilerei nel didietro quella testa che ti ritrovi. Magari ci ritrovi anche la donnina allegra che ti ha messo in questo casino dandoti la luce. Sei imbarazzante, spero ICGS ti paghi bene per sparare tutte 'ste idiozie. Fai buon viaggio nel paese in cui ti mando molto volentieri e da cui sicuramente provieni, Tuo
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 11:39 am
Location: Jersey City

Postby Em » Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:41 am


Aha you speak Italian. :D

You have given kind words of encouragement and support to those of us applying for Italian citizenship, and I for one appreciate it. Despite this, I did sense in your postings that you were rather happy about the possibility of a language test. Remember, English is my own native language, and I'm attuned to subtleties.

When it became clear to me that English was not your first language (and that is a compliment to your English skills because it took a few postings) and you then confirmed it by explaining your background, I began to understand. As an Italian citizen you have every right to an opinion on an issue that will have such a major impact on your country. But I think it would be valuable to those of us going through the jure sanguinis process, to understand how this process is viewed in Italy.

In my last posting, I noted some of the inconsistencies and inequities in the jure sanguinis process. I would be interested in your perspective.
User avatar
Posts: 3028
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:57 am


Return to Miscellaneous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest