[Look out, Your Holiness, the new feminist mayor of Rome will soon be after you]
[Look out, Your Honor, the Mafia will soon be after you]
Virginia Raggi, 37, of the 5-Star movement has been elected mayor of Rome
She has promised a ‘new era’ in the city and vowed to tackle city corruption
Lawyer had vowed to pursue allegedly unpaid taxes on Vatican real estate
By JULIAN ROBINSON FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 20 June 2016
Rome has elected the first female mayor in its 3,000-year history with the 37-year-old lawyer vowing to take on the Pope and the Mafia.
Virginia Raggi of the 5-Star protest movement stormed to victory after capitalising on anger over political corruption and deteriorating services in the Italian capital.
Her cause in the capital was helped by the ousting of her predecessor, the Democratic Party’s Ignazio Marino, over an expenses issue and a much bigger scandal over organised crime’s infiltration of the city administration.
In what is known as the ‘Mafia Capitale’ case, dozens of local businessmen, officials and politicians are currently on trial for their involvement in a criminal network that ripped off the city to the tune of tens – if not hundreds – of millions of euros.
Rome has elected the first female mayor in its 3,000-year history with 37-year-old lawyer Virginia Raggi vowing to take on the Pope and the Mafia
Virginia Raggi of the 5-Star protest movement stormed to victory after capitalising on anger over political corruption and deteriorating services in the Italian capital
Raggi has also pledged to pursue up to £310 million in allegedly unpaid taxes on the Vatican’s real estate holdings and some of its assets
Raggi has pledged to tackle corruption in the city and, in an interview with the Guardian, said she intended to take on the Catholic church.
The newspaper reports that she wants to pursue up to £310 million in allegedly unpaid taxes on the Vatican’s real estate holdings and some of its assets.
She has claimed that previous administrations have been afraid to take on the Vatican over the issue.
As Rome’s established parties’ power bases imploded, municipal services, especially strike-plagued mass transport, street repairs and waste collection, deteriorated.
‘I will work to bring legality and transparency’ to Rome’s administration, Ms Raggi told supporters. She said ‘the citizens of Rome won’, and pledged that ‘with us a new era begins’.
With more than 80 per cent of ballots counted, her rival, Democrat Roberto Giachetti, who was backed by Mr Renzi, conceded defeat – less than an hour after polls closed.
Mr Giachetti said he had called Ms Raggi to wish her luck. Dozens of people, including local politicians from the Democrats, right-wing parties and other political forces, have been implicated in corruption probes of city contracts.
While Ms Raggi’s victory was widely expected, Mr Renzi’s clout took a surprise beating in Turin, where incumbent mayor Piero Fassino, a Democratic Party veteran, conceded defeat to another female 5-Star candidate, Chiara Appendino.
Mr Fassino blamed his loss on right-wing forces, who, after faring poorly in first-round balloting, joined up with 5-Star supporters to defeat the centre-left Democrats.
Raggi has pledged to tackle corruption in the city and had previously said she intended to take on the Catholic church
With more than 80 per cent of ballots counted, her rival, Democrat Roberto Giachetti, who was backed by Mr Renzi, conceded defeat – less than an hour after polls closed
Although Mr Renzi had insisted that the local voting would not reflect on his two-year-old national government, the premier has little to cheer about from the run-off results.
His big consolation came in Milan, where he had heavily backed Giuseppe Sala, who appeared set for a close victory over his centre-right challenger, Stefano Parisi. Mr Sala had successfully managed Milan’s Expo event, a point of pride for Mr Renzi.
Another embarrassment for Mr Renzi could be the new Rome’s mayor’s opposition to the city’s bid to host the Olympics in 2024.
The PM has campaigned for the Italian capital to clinch the bid, but Ms Raggi has insisted that until corruption is cleansed from Rome’s City Hall machinery, construction and other preparations for the Games risk inviting more kickbacks and payoffs.