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The media became aware of the growing popularity of the phenomenon of pensioners abroad and are devoting more and more attention to it. In this article we analyze the facts and the judgments that transpire from news services.

Sofia city


Already in 2013, Rai spoke during Ballarò transmissions [1] and The Arena [2] about the theme of retirees who migrate abroad. Subsequently the number of services has increased a lot in all the media [3] and we have chosen two of them particularly significant aired on "Italia 1" during "Le Iene" and on "Rete 4" during TG4, running from two articles of "La Stampa".

Le Iene

Enrico Lucci,  a journalist of "Le Iene" team, interviews retired of many types: he starts with Franco Torriani, a truck driver who lives in Sofia with a pension of monthly € 1,200, and in the same city continues with Adriano, who worked in Switzerland and takes € 2,000 per month. Then he leaves the city and goes into the province to Pazardzhik (pronounced Pazarsic) to meet Antonio Tutino, who had a small bar and takes € 800, and finally he ends in the deep countryside with Alvaro, restaurateur with € 800, and Adolfo, € 780.


They all say that they can now afford a decent living doing things that in Italy they would not have even dreamed. Often at restaurant, with bills from € 4 per person, and then gym, tennis, spas and trips abroad costing € 150 each.

The change is due to the cost of living: Franco says it is 50%-60% less than in Italy and quotes a monthly rent of € 17, a kilo of bread at € 0.25, a kilo of tomatoes at € 0.40. Cheap for a retired Italian, not for a Bulgarian pensioner who receives between 100 and 250 Euros a month (eg Franco's wife receives € 70 per month). But also the low tax rate helps: Alvaro with € 500 per year pays all taxes and insurance, including house, land and two cars.

Franco Tenca con la moglieIn addition to material side, of course, emotional and social ones are important. For many of them the most important factor is to have found a wife of the place and have thus started a second youth. Adriano then speaks of his Bulgarian friends as "friends forever" and says that no one has ever asked for a penny answering to Lucci who asked him if someone wants to exploit him. As often happens to Italians abroad they are rediscovering national ties and a large group meets 15 times a month in the Italian pizzeria "Leo's."

The only real regret is due to affections left behind, maybe the children and grandchildren, who remain irreplaceable. To soothe the distance they use Skype, as does Alvaro, or they come back for a brief holiday with two hours by plane, as recommended by Antonio.
When Lucci asks why they went away from Italy and what are their feelings, the answer is unanimous. They fled because with their pension they did not manage to live and they were harassed by tax authorities; now they are happy with the choice made but against Italy they feel disappointed, cheated and thrown out of home and affections.

[1] Episode of  29/10/2013: "Italians in Bulgaria"
[2] Episode of 14/10/2013: "Italian pensioners living in Bulgaria with the state pension"
[3] Look for example at Il Fatto quotidiano, il Giornale.it and L'Huffington Post.

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