Gentiloni chides M5S Rome govt (4)
'Need powers other capitals have, not election chat' says Raggi
12 Gennaio 2018
Rome, January 12 - Premier Paolo Gentiloni on Friday chided the 5-Star Movement (M5S) administration in Rome for allegedly not showing "the maximum efficiency" in coping with a string of woes - prompting Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi to say she needed powers similar to those wielded by other European mayors to deal with problems properly, rather than hearing the premier's "election chatter". The anti-establishment group also told Gentiloni he should stick to being premier and not campaign for his centre-left Democratic Party (PD) ahead of the March 4 general election. Gentiloni said that Mayor Virginia Raggi's M5S administration "has not shown maximum efficiency". He said "this city cannot simply be governed by facing a string of emergencies that emerge every week..with which even the most efficient administration would struggle. "And I don't think we are in a situation where we can have maximum efficiency". The government "is there for" Rome and the central government is working with the municipal administration despite "suspicions", Gentiloni said. "We are the government and we can only have a spirit of collaboration on Rome even though this time the help was greeted by suspicious reluctance," he said. He said the government "appreciates the effort to give the city a long-term approach and urges everyone to have for Rome the universal ambition that this city deserves". Rome is in the midst of a trash crisis, the latest in a string of woes to hit the administration led by Raggi. It has also been hit by appointments probes, poor public transport and urban blight. Raggi was elected in a landslide in June 2016 to become Rome's first woman mayor and her administration has been seen as a test bed for the M5S's ambitions to lead Italy. In response to Gentiloni's perceived criticism, Raggi said that "in order to govern this city you need the powers all Europe's major capitals have, and not chat ahead of the general election". She said "we're in the election campaign, therefore the principle that those who shout the loudest wins is back, those who offend and attack their opponents, ignoring programmes. "Today it is the turn of Gentiloni against Raggi". Raggi said "I have asked the premier several times for the executive to finally work to enact the law that set up Roma Capitale in 2010. "The government has never replied. "In general, I avoid rows but I don't like lies. "If Gentiloni is really in good faith, as appears, he should work on the enacting decrees of the Roma Capitale law. "That is the real long-term perspective". Raggi went on: "Over the last few months, as he well knows, there has been fruitful collaboration with some ministers, not 'hyped' on the TV and in newspapers, which has led to good results for the citizens. "I hope that we can set aside rows motivated only by election mania". Meanwhile M5S Rome Council Whip Paolo Ferrara said the premier should stick to his job and not engage in the electoral campaign. Ferrara said on Facebook: "Gentiloni should stick to being premier, not (taking part in) the election campaign. "Their (Gentiloni's Democratic Party, PD) efficiency in governing is the 13 billion euros of debt (Raggi) inherited. "Gentiloni's statements are disgraceful." "The efficiency he talks about is by chance that shown in the past decades by PD governments? "The efficiency that led Rome to have 13 billion euros in debt? "The premier should stop waging an electoral campaign. "Indeed, he shouldn't waste time and should appoint a debt commissioner for Rome"