Only a few years ago you would have been hard pressed to find an Italian politician daring to speak the tongue of Shakespeare in public, let alone to garner national election votes.
English just didn’t seem to roll off the tongue…
Yet fast-forward to 2014 and using ‘inglesismi’ – Englishisms – in Italian politics is becoming trendier than a Berlusconi courtcase these days.
Current Prime Minister Matteo Renzi appears to be keen to throw in any English soundbite he can.
He even launched a national jobs package earlier this year called, wait for it, yes, the ‘JobsAct‘. ‘Riforma del lavoro’ just mustn’t have been catchy enough!
This week, as EU election campaigning moves up a notch in Italy ahead of May 25th, some candidates are even making English language election videos. We’ve just spotted this one from Giovanni La Via, a centre right candidate:
There’s nothing to say that Italian politicians, or even members of the European Parliament, should be fluent in English. Yet there’s no doubt that English has become the first language of European political debate, as the recent Presidential candidate debates showed.
Our election campaign #ParlamentareChi? encourages a debate on the quality of Italian candidates at this years European elections. One of the issues we try to raise is that we’d like to see candidates who have at least a decent knowledge of a second European language if they want to work for the European Parliament.
Unpaid Italian interns in Brussels often speak at least 3 languages – why should we accept anything less from our political representatives?