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Rome

>>>ANSA/ Rome ends confusion over Trevi Fountain coins

Money to continue to go to Caritas charity says Raggi

>>>ANSA/ Rome ends confusion over Trevi Fountain coins

Rome, January 14 - Rome mayor Virginia Raggi said Sunday that she would personally oversee the management of coins thrown by tourists and Rome residents into the Trevi Fountain after confusion over whether Catholic charity Caritas would continue to benefit. The coins are thrown for luck as part of a longstanding tradition and total about 1 to 1.5 million euros per year. The Rome mayor said that on Monday she would call a meeting to clarify the new administrative system that will be in place starting in April for Caritas to directly manage the coins. Raggi said that she was confident a solution would be found to protect the activities carried out by Caritas in recent years. The mayor has in previous years taken part in Christmas celebrations held by the charity. In October 2017 the Rome town council decided to 'internalize' the management of the coins to allocate them to charity initiatives. The town council then decided to extend the current system for all of 2018 in order to work out the details of the new system, which however has not yet been done. A recent note by the town council has however indicated Italian utility giant ACEA as "the party to task with" the collection of the coins and envisaged that "the revenue from the collection will mostly go towards, after subtracting the amount necessary to cover the contractual expenses of ACEA, financing social projects and the remaining part to maintenance of cultural heritage". The choice led to polemics, with Democratic Party (PD) politician Stefano Pedica calling for the "mayor to change her decision on taking the Fonta di Trevi coins away from Caritas. Every day we should be thanking the over 5,000 volunteers and 300 workers involving in helping the neediest. Caritas's work should be rewarded and not defunded. I hope that, given her decision to handle the situation directly, Raggi will be giving us good news." The Rome branch of the La Caritas Diocesana used social media networks to thank all the "journalists, politicians, priests and citizens" who had called for the money to remain with it to manage, saying that it would in any case continue with its "commitment to justice and dignity for those suffering". Raggi said on Monday that "Caritas and all the thousands of people it helps can rest assured. I personally guarantee that this administration will never take away its contribution. On the issue of the coins, I confirm that they will continue to go to the charity. No one ever considered taking them away."

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