Italian election: Introducing the candidates for the overseas electorate of Africa, Asia, Oceania and Antarctica

Recently, the candidates for the overseas electorate of Africa, Asia, Oceania and Antarctica were officially named.

Here is a brief rundown of the candidates running in the election, to allow Italian citizens residing in Australia to make an informed decision come election time.


Chamber of Deputies

FRANCESCO PASCALIS – DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PD)

Francesco Pascalis was born in Rome on March 29, 1950.

He graduated in political science in 1973.

Having always been involved in politics, he was Councillor of the Cabinet Office for the Minister of Italians Abroad, Mirko Tremaglia, before attempting to enter parliament in 2006, in the first election in which Italian citizens living abroad could participate.

He ran as a candidate for the Senate in the Union of the Centre (UdC) in affiliation with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (FI).

Mr Pascalis moved to Australia in 1984, teaching courses organised by Co.As.It. Brisbane.

He was manager of Co.As.It./Italian Australian Welfare Association Inc. in Brisbane from 1985 to 1994, and was president from 1987.

He was also the national coordinator of INAS-Australian Italian Welfare Inc., and from 1997 to 2001, he assumed the role of director of administration of Co.As.It. Melbourne.

He is now the coordinator of aged services in the same organisation.

From July 2004 to 2015, he was a member of the General Council of Italians Abroad (CGIE), representing the UdC.

He is now the president of the Committee of Italians Abroad (Comites) in Victoria and Tasmania.

He was also briefly involved in the Associative Movement Italians Abroad (MAIE), before becoming a member of the PD.

Mr Pascalis admitted some time ago that there has been a growing interest in the PD after the arrival of Matteo Renzi and the repositioning of the party towards the centre of Italian politics.

His decision to run as a candidate in the upcoming election was prompted by the retirement of Marco Fedi and the encouragement received by Mr Fedi and various members of the community, along with a fruitful dialogue with the PD.

CONCETTA CIRIGLIANO PERNA – FREE AND EQUAL (LEU)

Born in Basilicata and having graduated in political science and international law at the University of Bari, Concetta Cirigliano Perna moved to Australia in 1984.

Here, she dedicated herself to teaching Italian at Macquarie University in Sydney.

The author of various works related to teaching, she was also interested in studying Italian migration and published a book on this topic which received two awards in Italy.

Having always been active in the community, Ms Perna is now president of the National Italian-Australian Women’s Association, “founded to give a voice to those who didn’t have one”.

Politics has always been an integral part of Ms Perna’s life, and she was delegated to the constituent assembly of Veltroni’s PD in 2007.

She was also the party’s national secretary in Sydney and coordinator of our electoral division until 2013.

“The left is in my blood,” she said, despite having left the party in 2015 due to Matteo Renzi’s policies and management style.

“He never swayed me,” she said of Mr Renzi.

Ms Perna admitted that her return to politics wasn’t an easy decision, but the LeU’s offer was like a “breath of fresh air”, while the selection of the party’s two other candidates – one another woman – was encouraging.

NICOLA CARÈ – DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PD)

Nicola Carè will run again taking a step further to the left.

In 2013, he ran for With Monti for Italy and, after being well-received, he has decided to take advantage of Marco Fedi’s retirement from the PD, accepting the challenge with the support of his family.

A name always welcomed by Matteo Renzi, Nicola Carè met the leader of the PD during his visit to Sydney in late 2014.

Mr Renzi was able to appreciate the organisational qualities of Mr Carè, who is the CEO and Secretary General of the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in Sydney.

Born in Guardavalle, near Catanzaro in Reggio Calabria, Mr Carè is a candidate with a solid CV, well-known in both Melbourne (where he has lived for around 13 years) and Sydney, where he has held his position at the ICCI since 1999.

In this role, he has been able to demonstrate his strong leadership skills in business and public relations, in the commercial, hospitality and tourism sectors.

He is also involved in marketing campaigns, branding and the commercialisation of new products, along with relations between Italy and Australia.

Mr Carè has also been involved in initiatives related to the arts and Italian culture, and has spearheaded various charity initiatives for the Royal Blind Society and the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, while helping raise funds for victims of the earthquake which recently devastated central Italy.

DARIO CATANIA – FIVE STAR MOVEMENT (M5S)

Originally from Naples, where he was already active in the M5S, Dario Catania has lived in Bondi since 2015.

An avid traveller and economics graduate, Mr Catania has promoted innovative ideas mainly connected to the protection of the environment and burden-sharing, but also to those regarding tradition.

This is where the idea of “home-restaurants” came from – developed first in Naples and then transported to Sydney by Mr Catania.

A home-restaurant is a restaurant run from a home and open to friends and “friends-to-be”.

The idea came to Mr Catania when he was travelling through Peru, as many of the homes he stayed in also offered a dinner menu.

Founder of the Sydney 5 Stelle Facebook page, Mr Catania has pursued his passion for politics in Australia.

He fought for the inclusion of cameras at Comites meetings to enhance transparency and participation rates.

Now, as a candidate for the Chamber of Deputies in our electorate, Mr Catania is focusing once more on the concept of burden-sharing as the basis of his political values.

According to Mr Catania, a greater Italy and stronger overseas community rely on “communicating with communities in other countries”, aiming towards a “sustainable, ethical and innovative” future.

ERNESTO MARCIANÒ – CENTRE-RIGHT COALITION (SALVINI, BERLUSCONI, MELONI)

Ernesto Marcianò was born in Reggio Calabria and moved to Australia in 2003.

He graduated in sociology specialising in communications at the University of Urbino.

Currently residing in Perth, Mr Marcianò is dedicated to promoting the “Made in Italy” brand, alongside being an author and researcher.

He was enrolled in the Italian Social Movement (MSI) in 1972 and then the National Alliance (AN), and in 2008 he continued his political career with the People of Freedom (PdL), which later merged into Forza Italia (FI).

Alongside his political activity, Mr Marcianò held many important positions within the General Labour Union (UGL) in the province of Florence between 1985 and 2003, and he was a representative at the union’s first national Congress.

He continued this activity when he arrived in Western Australia, becoming president and managing director of the Patronato ENAS/UGL in Fremantle.

His career within the union ended abruptly in 2013, and since then Mr Marcianò has strongly denounced the overseas welfare services system set in place in Australia by the “central powers” who are solely interested in promoting the personal careers of “small local bosses”.

Should he be elected, one of Mr Marcianò’s objectives would be to push for the closure of unions abroad and boost the action of consuls and consulates in the area.

His intention is to “use politics to change society in a collective sense”.

“The work of those elected abroad should be to help countrymen in difficulty,” he said.

“Should I be elected, I will dedicate my salary to a specially created fund for the support of Italians abroad who are in need; for example, the hundreds of countrymen detained in foreign prisons and abandoned by the Italian government.”

OTHER CANDIDATES INCLUDE:

Antonio Amatulli – Free and Equal (South Africa)

Adele Castellaccio – Five Star Movement (Marocco)

Alessandro Totoro – More Europe (Burkina Faso)

Tommaso D’Errico – Centre-right coalition (Oman)

Mirella Irace – Popular Civic List (Mozambique)

Angelo Di Pietro – Popular Civic List (Italy)


Senate

FRANCESCO GIACOBBE – DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PD)

Senator for the PD, Francesco Giacobbe, will run for his second term in the Senate.

Born in Catania in 1958, Mr Giacobbe has lived in Australia for more than 30 years.

He is a chartered accountant and has worked as a financial adviser.

He has also taught management control at the University of Technology in Sydney.

On February 24, 2013, he was elected in the overseas electorate of Africa, Asia, Oceania and Antarctica.

Mr Giacobbe entered politics at a young age and assumed management roles in provincial and regional organisations associated with the left early on.

Upon his arrival in Australia, Mr Giacobbe immediately established relations with the Italian progressive political movement, actively collaborating with community members in his new home including the periodical Nuovo Paese, pensioner organisations and Italian-language media outlets such as Il GloboLa Fiamma, Rete Italia and SBS Radio.

A member of the committee for Italians abroad in the Italian parliament, Mr Giacobbe is an expert in management control systems in international joint ventures and has demonstrated his expertise in the industrial, commercial and tourism sectors.

He has been particularly vested in the promotion of Italy and “made in Italy” products across the world.

According to Mr Giacobbe, it’s fundamentally important to “insert niche Italian products into emerging markets like the Chinese market, with the help and knowledge of the Australian market”.

“For this reason,” he argued, “it’s important to introduce Italian businesses into the Australian market.”

PAULA MARCOLIN – FREE AND EQUAL (LEU)

Born in Australia to Italian parents, Paula Marcolin graduated from the University of Melbourne and pursued a career as a high-school teacher.

The experience she acquired in the Australian education system was useful when she decided to move to Veneto – the region her family comes from – for several years.

She continued her career as a teacher in Italy until she decided to return to Melbourne, where she became the national coordinator of the Christian Associations of Italian Workers (ACLI).

This new role put her in close contact with the Italian community of Victoria and led her to complete a degree in migration law and become a qualified migration agent.

Ms Marcolin’s involvement in the Italian community grew deeper again in 2015, when she was elected as vice-president of Comites in Victoria, an experience which arrived after a long political commitment to the PD’s local branch.

Her relations with the PD were interrupted in 2016, when she sharply opposed the constitutional reform brought forward by the party and its leader Matteo Renzi.

Ms Marcolin was always uncomfortable with Mr Renzi’s leadership of the party.

She has noticed a detachment from the traditional leftist values which were always central to her political commitment, as the party heads down a new path.

This is the main reason for her alignment with the new LeU, a movement “in which you can express yourself freely”, and the “only one representing the left in Italy today”.

ANGELO PARATICO – CENTRE-RIGHT COALITION (SALVINI, BERLUSCONI, MELONI)

Journalist, businessman and writer.

“I will be your mirror…without ideological filters, without parties.”

This is how Angelo Paratico presents himself in his campaign as a centre-right candidate for the Senate.

Mr Paratico underlined that “Italy is at a crossroads between rebirth and disintegration” and promised to fight for the former by using “knowledge, intellectual and material honesty, respect and kindness”.

Mr Paratico was born in Turbigo, in Lombardy, and his father was the town’s mayor for 15 consecutive years, from 1960 to 1975.

He studied textile chemistry in Busto Arsizio, and then abandoned medicine in Turin during his second year of the course.

He worked in the industrial dyeing sector before moving into textile machinery, working predominately in the Asian market.

His adventure in Hong Kong began in 1983, when he was working for ITEX, then on his own as a representative for Candiani SpA, a world leader in denim.

Over the years, the aspiring senator has written various history books and novels with political or scientific themes, both in Italian and English.

In 2014, he co-directed a documentary based on Fr Gaetano Nicosia, who dedicated his life to curing lepers in Macau.

He has written for Italian political magazine Il Borghese, conservative daily Secolo d’Italia, blog La Nostra Storia, daily newspaper Corriere della Sera, and Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post.

He was a representative for the Tricolor Committee of Italians around the World (CTIM) in East Asia for many years.

He was the vice president of his local Dante Alighieri Society for 11 years, honorary member of the Fogolar Furlan in Hong Kong, and vice president of Bellissima Italia, an Italo-Chinese association aimed at promoting Italian art and culture in Hong Kong and Macau.

OTHER CANDIDATES INCLUDE:

Allegra Salvadori – Democratic Party (United Arab Emirates)

Salvatore Cristaudi – Centre-right coalition (South Africa)

Francesco Formiconi – Five Star Movement (Japan)

Alberto Barattini – Five Star Movement (Egypt)

Nicola Brienza – Popular Civic List (China)

Maria Flora Di Matteo – More Europe (Thailand)

 

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