People in Italy voted not only for the European elections on June 7 and 6, but also for local councils in over 4,000 localities. For the first time ever, there were three Romanian representatives elected: Leontina Ionescu in Marcellina, Adrian Chifu in Verbania and Antonio Giannelli in Stazzema - an Italian listed with the Party of Romanians in Italy (PIR).
Adrian Chifu is a Romanian from Piatra Neamt (North-East Romania), with regional political experience in Romania. He was the top of the centre-right list, with 119 votes, getting a local councillor role in Verbania, Piemonte, a city with 30,000 inhabitants. "Today, in Verbania, the history was written with Romanian words. 65 years after leftist governance, a right wing party wins what it is considered a local historical victory", Chifu said.
Chifu is an entrepreneur. He led an intense campaign under the slogan "A multitude of cultures, one city". The right wing was supported locally by Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoia, candidate for the European Parliament on Central Democratic Union's lists.
In Italy, people do not vote by stamping, but by writing down the name of the preferred candidate. "Our strength rests in the tip of our pen" was one slogan the Romanian used.
Leontina Ionescu was elected in a local administration 50 km away from Rome, in Marcellina. She's 51 and both a Romanian and an Italian citizen. She moved to Italy immediately after finishing high school, accompanying her Italian husband. She ran on the list of a central-left political body and won with 150 votes against another Romanian, Simona Noru, right wing candidate.
Antonio Gianelli is an Italian journalist with a Romanian wife. Representing PIR in Toscany, he won with 80 votes a local councillor role in Stazzema. He speaks a fluent Romanian.
The Romanian to raise most votes in Italy is Nona Evghenie: 320 signatures. She only made it on the 14th position, though, as a Democratic Party candidate in Padova.
There were 2,070 Romanians voting in Italy for the Romanian candidates running for a European Parliament mandate, the lowest voting presence Romanians had in Italy. In contrast, 30,000 Romanians were enlisted on the Italian lists.