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Protesters in Rome call for mayor to resign

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People take part in a peaceful protest march of members of Roman citizens committees, groups and associations that say care about the future of Rome and want to take charge themselves of the Italian capital, on October 26, 2019 along the river Tiber in Rome, against the city council and the mayor’s management of the city on jobs, families, elderlies, public transport, green spaces, waste management and overall pollution, asking her to step aside. – The inscriptions on the balloon read “Raggi no more”, referring to current Rome mayor Virginia Raggi, of the M5S Five Star movement. (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP)

Hundreds of people marched along the Tiber River on Saturday to demand Rome mayor Virginia Raggi resign over the state of the Italian capital.

“Raggi is turning the city into somewhere to run away from, instead of a city where people can live with dignity, work and build their future,” the Tutti per Rome (Everyone for Rome) organisation said ahead of the rally.

“The whole world pities us,” it said.

The march came a day after trade unions in Rome staged a general strike, with workers including bus drivers and garbage collectors taking a stand against the mayor and her ruling Five Star Movement administration.

The Eternal City’s streets are riddled with potholes, buses regularly catch fire and officials have warned the perennial garbage crisis constitutes a health risk, with rat control services working overtime as bins overflow near tourist sites, homes and schools.

Raggi became the capital’s first female mayor in 2016 by tapping into anger over corruption scandals — in particular the infiltration of crime families in the city’s waste management system.

In April this year, she defended herself against accusations she had failed to turn the situation around, saying Rome was “under attack” from mobsters determined not to release their grip on a lucrative sector.


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