The general election in Italy this Sunday (25), which will renew the two Houses of Parliament and point to the formation of a new government, still has a secondary interest for Brazil. Two deputies and one senator from Rome will be nominated by the countries of South America.
Of the 50.8 million Italian voters registered to vote, 4.7 million are outside the country — 418,000 of them in Brazil. There are four sections across the globe, organized regionally, and Brazil shares one with 12 other South American countries. Voting abroad, by correspondence, started earlier, with the deadline of last Thursday afternoon (22) for the ballot to reach the consular offices.
In the race are some names known to the public, such as former minister and former councilor Andrea Matarazzo and two-time Formula 1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi — both running for the Senate, against 12 candidates from other countries.
The biggest obstacle to his success at the polls, however, is the representation of Brazil within the South American college. In this election, 400 seats are at stake in the Chamber and 200 in the Senate, 345 fewer, in all, than in the 2018 election – the cut was approved in a referendum two years ago. The number of seats for overseas residents was also affected, dropping from 18 to 12.
As Argentina has the largest number of voters, 756 thousand, historically, the most voted senator in the region has always been Italian-Argentine, leaving Brazil with some chance of electing a deputy. About 1.5 million Italian citizens live in South America.
Hence the strategy of betting on popular names. “This is something recent. Before, elections were restricted to the most active Italian communities. Now, even Brazilian parties want to show some influence in the dispute”, says Desiderio Peron, editor of Insieme magazine, specialized in issues of the Italian-Brazilian community.
Matarazzo, 65, a former ambassador to Italy, launched himself into the country’s politics after being defeated in the last elections in Brazil — he left the PSDB in 2016 amidst the São Paulo elections and migrated to the PSD, for which he was not elected vice president. mayor that year or mayor in 2020. If he wins, as he told in an interview with Sheet last month, he promised to foster economic ties between the two countries and fight for the creation of public policies to facilitate the entry of Brazilian students into European universities.
The businessman is running for the Socialist Party, an ally of the Democratic Party, the main center-left acronym. In the race, he won the support of the governor of Paraná, Ratinho Júnior (PSD), and celebrities such as socialite Narcisa Tamborindeguy and presenter Silvia Poppovic.
Fittipaldi, 76, joined the Brothers of Italy, the favorite party to win the election and nominate the new prime minister – who would be Giorgia Meloni, the first woman in the post. The acronym has its origins in post-fascism and an anti-immigration platform.
The former pilot said, in an interview with Veja, that if elected he would try to “change the fascist image that the [presidente Jair] Bolsonaro has it in Europe.” He garnered support from deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro (PL-SP) and other Bolsonaristas, such as singer Sérgio Reis and RedeTV! partner Marcelo de Carvalho.
Fittipaldi also said he wanted to create bridges between Brazilian and Italian athletes and defend the right to blood of Italian citizenship, called “jus sanguini” – today contested by politicians on the left, who press for “jus soli”, when nationality is attributed to the place. of birth.
The former pilot is deep in debt and is responding to more than 100 lawsuits filed by creditors after a series of failed ventures. A report by UOL showed that banks took from him a farm, a luxury apartment, a shed and a house; passport, trophies and historic cars would also have been confiscated. His debt is estimated to have reached R$50 million.
In general, parliamentarians elected abroad act to represent the interest of the Italian community in their countries and regions, with the same attributions as those elected in Italy. They are appointed on committees and can present bills. The monthly salary in the Chamber is around €16,000 (R$82,000), considering additional fees.
In any case, the eventual winner is unlikely to actually achieve significant results. An example would be the reduction of queues to obtain an Italian citizenship or passport. “Practical points, such as consular services, instead of improving, have worsened in recent years”, says Peron.
If the dispute for the Senate is more fierce, the country has as favorites for a vacancy the current senator Fabio Porta (who is running on Matarazzo’s ticket) and deputy Luis Roberto Lorenzato, from the League, from Fittipaldi’s ticket. On the outside appears Luis Molossi, affiliated with a party based in Argentina.
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