The Vice President of MAIE runs for a seat in the Chamber in the overseas constituency for North and Central America
“In 1977, he left Italy to head to the Dominican Republic for a three-month job; with me, I only had a diploma as an accountant and a great dedication. There I met an Olivetti technician who, at the end of this work experience, told me when I was about to return to Italy: are you sure you want to return to Italy? In these emerging countries, there is a need for people like you.”
Thus begins the personal story of Angelo Viro, the MAIE candidate for the Chamber for the foreign constituency of North and Central America.
From Olivetti, the great Italian company symbolizing pioneering management in the world, to the American multinational 3M, a giant of multiservice, up to the foundation of CerArte, the family company created when he was only thirty years old, which now also counts on two sister companies CerarTec and Ceteca.
The first political commitment
This is how Angelo Viro’s professional career presents himself, who describes himself as passionate about numbers, challenges, calculation, and thoughtfulness. At the same time, passion and political commitment are built and resisted:
“It was the 1970s when DC started courting me, but I was never a lover of Italian politics, and at the time, I preferred to focus on work. Hence the decision to leave for the Dominican Republic to get away. But it was precisely in the Dominican Republic that I rediscovered politics as an instrument at the service of others, particularly at the service of Italians abroad”, says the Vice President of MAIE Angelo Viro.
While continuing to work in the family businesses, Viro begins to frequent the circles of Italians in the Dominican Republic, where he comes into contact with the personal stories of Italian emigrants.
In 2013, following the closure of the Italian embassy in the Dominican Republic, Angelo Viro’s struggle began in defense of the rights of his compatriots residing in the Caribbean state.
“A 119-year story torn apart on the spot seemed to me an injustice. I remember that at the time, together with seven other friends, we invested all our time and copious part of our money for flights to Rome, at the Farnesina to convince the Italian government to reopen the embassy so as not to abandon tens of thousands of Italians “, says Viro. “For passports and documents, you had to go to Panama, which was a problem for most people. Those who had the money to travel went; otherwise, the others remained on foot.”
The battle for the Italian embassy culminated with a complaint against the Italian state brought before the TAR and then won. But the victory soon gave way to a sense of injustice, and inner unease felt in seeing that Italian politics was closing its doors in front of thousands of compatriots.
Angelo Viro on MAIE: he represents Italians abroad
And it is then that the MAIE looks for him: “They courted me for eight months, but I no longer wanted to have anything to do with politics. I thought of my community, the companies I had to manage, and my family. But then I realized that, in reality, everything we had worked to build allowed us to be the Italian community of the Dominican Republic, the Italian community of Central America. And all this had to be defended, for those who are now and for those who will come later”, says Viro.
The MAIE policy, made by Italians residing abroad and for Italians living abroad, is the only one that can match that sense of justice awakened a few years earlier. The political and ideological compromise is to lead Angelo Viro to be Vice President of the MAIE, the right arm of Ricardo Merlo, founder of the movement.
“I refused political armchairs and shirts in Rome to stay here, on the front line, to build a future for the Italian community, to build the future of Italian communities abroad,” comments Viro. “I said no when it was necessary to say no, and I chose MAIE because it fully represented everything I believe in. Since I started being part of this community too, I have always defended the interests of Italians abroad with the strength and tenacity typical of us, those who have left their lives in Italy to go and live in another country”.
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