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More foreigners claiming Italian benefits

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Photo: AFP
17:38 CET+01:00
More foreigners are now claiming unemployment benefits in Italy as thousands have lost jobs within the past couple of years.

Maria Cecilia Guerra, the deputy minister of labour and social policies, said on Tuesday that “more foreigners are now accessing our welfare system jobless benefits”, according to a report by the Italian news agency, ANSA.

She added that Italy has begun dealing with the situation, “for example, by lengthening residency permits for foreigners who have lost their jobs. These measures can be strengthened".

There were 150,000 more foreigners out of work in the second quarter of this year than in the same period in 2012.

Guerra added that 18 percent of foreign workers are unemployed compared to 11 percent of Italians.

"There is no longer as much demand for workers from abroad, and seasonal work is now being done by the resident workforce", she said.

Though foreign workers do not compete with Italians due to taking less qualified and less attractive positions, they are becoming more competitive in the industrial and construction sectors, Guerra added.

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