Thursday, May 01, 2008

Rome's New Mayor...

The Telegraph reports on the first Right-wing Mayor in Rome since the War:
Gianni Alemanno, 50, a firebrand neo-fascist and the first Right-wing mayor of the city since the Second World War, vowed to make Rome "secure" as he was sworn into office after his election at the weekend.
The new mayor said that his first action would be to begin "immediate expulsions" of the 20,000 immigrants in the city with criminal records.
"We cannot welcome them without discipline," he said. "We will chase out the delinquents. There are 85 abusive nomad camps to destroy."
He added that he would visit the widower of Giovanna Reggiani, a 47-year-old woman who was beaten, raped and killed by a Romanian immigrant who lived at a such a camp last November. "I want to promise him that what happened to his wife would never happen again," he said.
Walter Veltroni, his Left-wing predecessor, was widely criticised for paying more attention to ancient monuments and film festivals than to problems with the city's infrastructure and security.
Mr Alemanno has promised to tear down a £12 million museum around the Ara Pacis, an altar to the Emperor Augustus.
The sleek modernist building, designed by US architect Richard Meier, took more than a decade to build but was immediately labelled by one critic as resembling a "pizzeria".
Knowing the way things are run here in Italy, I can confidently predict that the expulsions will be minimal or non-existent, and the museum at the Ara Pacis will not be demolished.


TheCrankyProfessor said...

The real reason the Meier building will survive is that it is very "contextual," that it quite indebted to its Fascist surroundings. I'm not sure that Alemanno knows that, but someone in his government will.

This is indeed interesting news - I fully expect to be able to get an apartment trade lined up for next year now, given how many of my friends who were swaring that if Berlusconi AND Alemanno won they were moving to America!

Anonymous said...

Ironic that the Mayor would be expelling all the criminal immigrants, given the story of Rome's founding population. ;-)

Gashwin said...

I am sure his sentiments strike a sympathetic cord among some Romans, though.

On my various visits to the city, I notice the large number of brown and black folk wandering around.

When I didn't have a beard, I was often mistaken for a Bangladeshi, even though I wasn't selling umbrellas ... :) I must say it's a bit surreal saying "Sorry, I don't speak Bengali" in Italian! Now, with the beard, I've found myself saying, "Sorry, I don't speak Arabic!"

I recall one conversation with a souvenir vendor outside the Scala Santa, originally from Dhaka (turns out he and I share the same first name!). He said that the Italians generally treated him right. It was the Senegalese who were a problem ... guess the "pecking order" among immigrants is a world-wide phenomenon. :)

As to all those Italians who bemoan all these "stranieri": go and produce more Italian babies, will ya? :)