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Mayor refused Italian citizenship to a woman who didn’t know Italian after 20 years living in Italy



In Italy, you can apply for Italian residency after 10 years of residence if you come from outside the EU, while if you are already an EU citizen, this time is reduced to 5 years. Normally it is a simple practice, almost a formality, without any examination: in front of the mayor of the city, you read the oath of allegiance to the Italian Republic, and everything ends there.

This time, the mayor refused to grant citizenship to a woman who has lived in Italy for 21 years and does not know Italian, not even in her basic phrases.This is what happened in Pontoglio, in the province of Brescia, in northern Italy, between Milan and Venice. . The incident involved a Moroccan woman applying for Italian citizenship and Pontoglio’s first Leghist citizen, Alessandro Pozzi. According to the reconstruction, the woman, at the time of the oath required in such cases, did not answer the mayor’s questions because she did not understand Italian, and so the mayor decided not to give her Italian citizenship.

Pozzi’s choice raised controversy in the country and beyond, prompting the mayor to clarify his position to avoid controversy. The mayor pointed out that a similar situation had occurred last October when he also denied citizenship to another person who did not speak Italian.

“Unfortunately, as has happened in the past, this citizen not only demonstrated that she did not have sufficient knowledge of the Italian language, not even knowing how to answer a simple “what is your name?” but also showed difficulty in understanding the request to take the oath during the ceremony,” the mayor explained. “After more than two decades of residence in our country, her linguistic inability raises legitimate practical concerns and broader questions about the integration process, both at the family and social levels.

Pozzi emphasized that although it is not for him to judge an individual’s language ability, it is essential that the oath be taken in accordance with current regulations. “It is a due act, and the mayor must act according to the proper execution of this procedure,” concluded the first citizen of Pontoglio.

If European countries really want to arrive at true integration, they will have to choose a system of granting citizenship by examination that at least certifies understanding of national languages. Otherwise, everything will be reduced to a collection of ghettos


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