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Moroccans' enterprises on rise
  Italy map (Ph.: Archives).
Some 57,621 businesses, out of the 599,036 managed by foreigners in Italy, are held by Moroccans, reported the Italian agency Adnkronos.

A study, conducted by the Association of craftsmen and small enterprises (CGIA) of the town of Mestre (north-eastern Italy), found that the number of businesses run by foreigners rose 40.5% in the last five years, at a time when even Italian companies are struggling to survive.

In the year 2009, which was one of the most difficult in Italy's recent history because of the global financial and economic crisis, these firms grew by 4.1%.

Moroccans top the list of foreign company owners in Italy, employing some two million people, followed by the Chinese (49,854), Romanians (49,132), the Swiss (43,973), Germans (36,325) and Albanians (34,982).

According to the CGIA, this growth is largely attributable to the fact that the numbers of foreigners have significantly increased during the past five years.

It seems that the creation of businesses is one of the ways of fighting the bad working conditions and the low salaries imposed by Italian companies on foreigners in general and Moroccans in particular.

A report published last year by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) had found that a large number of Moroccans in Italy are living in conditions close to slavery.

According to a 10-day study prepared by an IOM team in the town of San Nicola Varco, one hundred kilometres south of Naples, over 1000 Moroccans “are being exploited by unscrupulous employers who pay them between 15 and 25 Euros a day to work in the nearby greenhouses and fields.”

"The salaries are well below the minimum. It is a kind of slavery," Flavio Di Giacomo, spokesman for the IOM in Italy, had stressed, adding that “it is a humanitarian emergency because they are living in conditions that are unsustainable.”

The IOM team, made up of four legal officers and two cultural mediators, had interviewed more than 200 migrants, who described their dire living conditions and miseries.

  By CMC
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