Agitu Idea Gudeta has built up a thriving business in her adopted Italy making goat’s cheese and beauty products in just a few years since fleeing her native Ethiopia in 2010 over a land dispute.

By Alessandro Bianchi (Reuters) |

VALLE DEI MOCHENI, Italy―Agitu Idea Gudeta has built up a thriving business in her adopted Italy making goat’s cheese and beauty products in just a few years since fleeing her native Ethiopia in 2010 over a land dispute.

Her experience is a shining example of what migrants can achieve, given half a chance, though Gudeta fears growing hostility to newcomers in Italy will make it harder for outsiders to contribute in the future.

“I created my space and made myself known, there was no resistance to me,” she told Reuters. “But (the experience) of those who are coming now … is obviously being conditioned by ideologies based on lies that can create fear and resistance.”

Agitu Idea Gudeta, 40, has made her home in the mountains of the Trentino region in Valle dei Mocheni, a stronghold of the far-right League party, which is led by Matteo Salvini, Italy’s new hardline interior minister.

Some opinion polls say the League is now Italy’s most popular party, its support fueled by its uncompromising stance against the arrival of more than 650,000 migrants, many from sub-Saharan Africa, over the past five years.

Agitu Idea Gudeta escaped from her home town of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, after her protests against so-called ‘land-grabbing’ — whereby huge swathes of farmland were sold to foreign investors — raised the ire of the local authorities.

Continue reading this story at Reuters
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