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Chinese Immigrants Leave Italy

Chinese immigrants in Italy are heading home, but not because they’re homesick. Piazza Vittorio in Central Rome used to be a thriving China town. Now store owners say the economy is too bad to stay. 2013-01-10 11:26 AM EST Last Updated: 2013-01-10 05:10 PM EST
Chinese immigrants in Italy are heading home, but not because they’re homesick.

 

Piazza Vittorio in Central Rome used to be a thriving China town. Now store owners say the economy is too bad to stay.

 

[Sonia Zho, Chinese Restaurant Owner]: 

“Now many are closing businesses. Around me, many shops are closed, closed, closed, or empty or have turned into other types of shops which are not Chinese anymore."

 

With higher taxes and more stringent policy on tax evasion, many Chinese immigrants are moving elsewhere. Some are going to other countries. Others are going back to China.

 

This travel agency says they are also seeing less Chinese travelers coming to Italy.

 

[Giuseppe Lombardo, Italian Co-Owner of Travel Agency]: 

"We have definitely seen a reduction of movement of Chinese clients, particularly Chinese businessmen, with big or small enterprises in Italy.”

 

The majority of Chinese immigrants in Italy are heading to the US and Canada, which are perceived to have healthier economies.

 

[Giuseppe Lombardo, Italian Co-Owner of Travel Agency]: 

“Many Chinese are now booking tickets just one way because they prefer closing their businesses here and returning to China again or to go to other places."

 

Italy’s debt is now roughly 120% of its GDP. It’s paying 16% percent of that GDP in loan interest.

 

Not everyone is leaving though. Enrico Xu is a second-generation Chinese Italian, born in Rome. He says that connection to Italy means he’ll stay put, no matter how tough the going gets.

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