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Vito de Palma (Bari, 1958), known in Latin America for his broadcasts with ESPN as the “Calciologo”, surprisingly moved away from sports journalism to embrace politics by becoming a candidate for deputy to the Italian parliament for the Fratelli d’Italia party.
Vito’s voice is recognizable and unmistakable to millions of viewers who, like him, love soccer. However, he may continue his life away from the screens because if he wins the elections —as he has explained— he will not have time to work in the media.
Regarding his ideas, we cannot fail to mention his recognition of the transcendence of man based on the Christian faith, from which his defense of life culture and Western tradition stems. Principles that progressive globalism attacks through an agenda of abortion, mass immigration, and gender ideology.
Fortunately, a response to such globalism has been emerging in recent years. In the face of those who advocate the cosmopolitan agenda of uprootedness and dissolution of nations into global citizenship, Fratelli d’Italia’s discourse —as well as that of other sovereigntist forces- on the rise in Europe— has an identity and a sense of belonging at its core. “I am a woman, I am a mother, I am Italian, I am a Christian” is a phrase that the group’s leader, the energetic Giorgia Meloni, regularly repeats and encapsulates the vision she advocates.
In this conversation with El American, the renowned Series A commentator shows us the new facet he has taken on, and discusses values and proposals.
For those of us who are not so familiar with Italian politics, it was a bit strange to see him campaigning for the Italian parliament from Argentina. Can you briefly explain to us how the system of representation of Italian nationals living in other countries works?
Italy is one of the few countries worldwide that allows citizens living abroad to vote. Voting is done by mail (in the future, Fratelli d’Italia intends to transform it into an electronic system that offers greater guarantees of security), and the world is divided into four constituencies; namely: Europe, Central, and North America, South America, and, finally, Asia, Africa and Oceania. In South America, one senator and two deputies are elected, who will have the same duties and rights as their counterparts elected in Italy.
One of your main proposals is to defend the Ius sanguinis (right of blood). The current Italian government is promoting an Ius scholae that would grant citizenship to foreign children who have been in the country for twelve years or who have regularly attended a class for at least five years. Why does your party oppose this law? Does the Ius scholae affect the Ius sanguinis?
The Ius Scholae, in principle would not affect the right of blood, but we know very well the furtive and deceitful actions of the left, and we are sure that this would be a first step, a classic “Trojan horse,” towards the Ius soli, which would indeed imply the disappearance of the possibility of passing on citizenship to people born abroad, with the simple requirement of having Italian descent.
In the video you made together with Pablo Muñoz Iturrieta, he hinted at the possibility of Italy repatriating its citizens living in Latin America. Why would this benefit the country, and how could a plan of such magnitude be carried out?
Italy faces the dangerous phenomenon of a negative birth rate. The graph of the last decades is chilling, and in a few years, the country will not be economically viable, especially in the pension sector. Leftists, who are the ones responsible for this catastrophe and who did everything possible to provoke it, now use this as an excuse to “repopulate” with African or Asian immigration, thus adding a new problem, since at this rate in a few years the country at the center of Christianity could have a Muslim majority. Faced with this threat to the very essence of our nation, Fratelli d’Italia proposes to offer Italians abroad the possibility, obviously on a voluntary basis, to return to their homeland.
It is worth clarifying that at the moment, there are 6 million Italian passports abroad. Still, it is estimated that there are almost 60 million who would be entitled to citizenship by descent. Considering that Italy now has nearly the same number of inhabitants, it is evident that it would be enough with a small percentage willing to go back to revitalize the country, but in this case, with Italian blood, customs, traditions, quirks and culture. We must keep in mind that entire villages are becoming depopulated, and many municipalities are offering free housing to those who accept settling in their territory.
How does FDI seek to promote Italy’s birth rate, which is among the lowest in the world, do you consider the experience of Viktor Orbán’s Hungary in this field to be valuable?
The first thing to underline is that active family policies are at the top of the party’s government program. That is to say, they are considered to be of paramount importance and very urgent. The Hungarian experience is valuable, but each country has its own characteristics (something even more evident in the case of Italy) and will therefore have to find its own ways to achieve the objective. The important thing is a strong political will in this direction.
Interestingly, you discard the left-right dichotomy as two faces of the same materialism. Can you further develop this idea?
I believe that the traditional horizontal left-right division —with all its nuances— expresses only different distribution models, without moving away from the same materialistic vision of life: the classic two sides of the same coin, or perhaps we could say the x sides of the same polyhedron. Instead, I propose a vertical model, like a tree with roots and fruits, understood as the historical origins and their projection into the future, a future built based on traditions.
You have referred to St. Francis of Assisi as the first ecologist, and you say that the ecology of the left is false. Does FDI incorporate measures for the protection of the environment? Why is it essential to defend this cause from conservatism?
How can a materialist talk about environmental problems? Admitting —and not conceding— that the environment has real problems, it is evident that they are the product of a materialistic and quantitative vision of life, of the anxiety of accumulation and the frenzy of destruction typical of that mentality. St. Francis of Assisi called the elements of nature his brothers and sisters, claiming the supremacy of man over creation but at the same time assuming the role of its custodian. Fratelli d’Italia advocates prudent and careful use of natural resources and, especially, the “securing” of a territory wounded and battered by the building speculation and lack of planning of the last decades.
We did not want to miss the opportunity to ask you about soccer. The Calcio is beautiful, with several teams with a chance of winning the title. However, there seems to be a big gap between Italian clubs and the favorites to win the Champions League, especially financially. Is it possible that this gap will be reduced in the short-medium term, and we could see them fighting again in Europe?
Unfortunately, financial rules imposed by UEFA seem to go in the opposite direction to the necessary balance that makes a competition attractive. If clubs are allowed to spend a percentage of their income, it is clear that the richer ones will earn more and thus become even richer, widening the economic and sporting gap instead of reducing it. However, Italian technicians are still the best in the world. The Italian specialty, pizza, is justly an expression of that typically national art of transforming poverty into something tasty and attractive. I am confident that this ingenuity and creativity will also allow us to return to the forefront of soccer.