Rome

Citizenship reforms cannot be delayed, says minister

Parliament may soon deal with law reform in Italy

Citizenship reforms cannot be delayed, says minister

Rome, May 15 - Italy's Parliament must soon deal with a reform of its citizenship laws, Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge said Wednesday. "Citizenship reform is a real need and cannot be postponed," said the Congo-born Kyenge. Among other advantages, reforms could improve economic growth prospects for the recession-struck country, she added during question period. Reform could occur via gradual regulatory changes made in consultation with all government ministries, but work must begin quickly, said the minister. "I am confident that Parliament will soon begin to deal with reform," said Kyenge. The minister has stirred controversy with her plans to press for reforms granting automatic Italian citizenship to the children of immigrants born in Italy. Automatic citizenship is rare in Europe, with France providing the exception to the general rule of blood-based citizenship rules. However, most European countries are less rigid than Italy regarding naturalization, and grant easier paths toward citizenship for the children of immigrants.

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