Write to the Mayor

Editorial Staff
January 16, 2014

Dear Matteo,

I was very pleased to have been able to participate at the Leopolda 4 and to listen to your proposals for change. However, I do not believe it makes sense to grant nationality to any child born in Italy or any other Western country. In a world where travel is so easy it makes a mockery of what nationality stands for. The Lampedusa tragedy highlighted the problem and danger of pregnant, illegal, immigrant women without resources who are arriving in Europe by the thousands just to give birth. Surely nationality must be based on blood, roots, family, language, culture and history, and not handed out just for giving birth in a particular place, kicking a football or running fast. If, by chance, your wife were to give birth during a visit to the Congo, Cambodia or Saudi Arabia, the baby would be Italian, not Congolese, not Cambodian and not Saudi (they would only accept Muslims anyway).


During the present economic climate with over 20 million people unemployed and millions more in poverty, it can only lead to the loss of national identity and social cohesion, which is already evident in cities across Western Europe.


Yours sincerely, Peter Fieldman

A British citizen married for over 40 years to a Florentine lady



Dear Peter,

Thank you for your letter and for the chance it gives me to voice my views on this important issue.

It is undeniable that, as the world evolves, borders have become more permeable. People are born in one country, are educated in another, and perhaps go to work in yet another. This dynamic exchange of people leads to a fertile ‘contamination’ that is the ground for new ideas, and can be seen as the hope for the future of our planet. Of course, globalization is also accompanied by the widening gap between haves and have-nots, and this disparity, which it is our responsibility to address, leads people to desperate acts.


But the solution is not to close ourselves behind rigid and outdated rules. Florence is a city that is open to the world, and if we are to consider what is fair, I submit that ius soli, or the right for people born on Italian soil to acquire Italian citizenship, is what is urgently necessary in a vibrant democracy like ours.


I thank you for your letter and look forward to a continuing dialogue on this and other issues.


Best, Matteo



Those interested in writing to the mayor can send messages and comments via email to [email protected], stating 'Write to the Mayor' in the subject line of the email. Emails must clearly state the author's first name, surname, city and country of birth, and the city and country of residence.

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