• Italy's news in English
Outcry after Rome police call in sick on NYE
835 Rome police officers who were due to work on New Year's Eve called in sick. Photo: Denis Bocquet

Outcry after Rome police call in sick on NYE

Josephine McKenna · 7 Jan 2015, 16:18

Published: 02 Jan 2015 14:24 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Jan 2015 16:18 GMT+01:00

In the latest embarrassment to strike the scandal-ridden city, it was reported that 835 - or 83.5 percent of Rome’s municipal police scheduled to work - called in sick on one of the most hectic nights of the year when the city’s streets and piazzas were filled with 600,000 partygoers from around the world.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi tweeted his disgust, saying this is why employment laws needed to be changed with a #Buon2015 (Happy2015) hashtag.

“I read that 83 out of 100 Rome police did not work due to 'illness' on December 31st,” he tweeted on Friday. “This is why we are changing government employment laws in 2015.”

Public service minister Marianna Madia warned that disciplinary action may be taken against the officers who had failed to show up on New Year's Eve. In a post on her Twitter feed, she said the incident was being investigated.

She also stressed that government reforms of the civil service were well underway and would not be stopped.

Rome’s Mayor Ignazio Marino said the council was grateful that New Year celebrations had been so successful and stressed he was doing everything possible to verify who was responsible for what had occurred.

“They did not succeed in ruining the city’s party,” Marino said in a Facebook post. “But those who with their unjustifiable absences tried to ruin everything, have to be held to account.”

Deputy mayor Luigi Nieri said an internal investigation was being conducted. “In a short time we will have the results on which to decide if there is a legal case to answer,” he said.

But the absence of the police appears to be part of a larger dispute within the council about staffing and conditions.

Story continues below…

Stefano Giannini, secretary of the union which represents the police, defended his members saying there was a serious shortage and the police had been expected to work overtime on New Years Eve to cover gaps.

He said management had to take more responsibility for what had occurred.

“Managing holiday plans and staffing shortages were underestimated,” Giannini told news agency, Adnkronos.

“There are 5,900 of us and there should be 9,400. With these numbers we can no longer provide a 24 hour service seven days a week.”

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Josephine McKenna (news@thelocal.it)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Italy hails mafia killer's arrest as historic
Fazzalari was convicted in absentia in 1999 of mafia association, kidnapping, illegal possession of weapons and a double homicide. Photo: Italian police

A convicted killer who was one of Italy's most wanted mafia bosses was arrested Sunday in an operation hailed by prosecutors as a historic breakthrough in the fight against organised crime.

Pope visits Armenian genocide memorial
Francis laid a wreath and prayed at the Tsitsernakaberd site. Photo: AFP

Pope Francis on Saturday issued a rallying cry to protect memory at the Armenian genocide memorial in Yerevan, on day two of a trip likely to stir tensions with Turkey.

Italians in the UK: 'After all these years, we feel unwanted'
Thousands of young Italians have moved to London in recent years. Photo: TJ Morris

Italian expats in the UK shared feelings of anger, fear and confusion after Britain voted to leave the EU. And they never even got a say.

How to get Italian citizenship (or at least stay forever)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Looking to stay in Italy long term? Here's how.

Where does Britain's exit from the EU leave Italy?
(L) Nigel Farage, leader of Ukip, which campaigned for Britain to leave the EU and (R) Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Photos: Geoff Caddick/Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Britain may have taken a leap into the dark, but this is what's expected in Italy.

Europe needs renovating after Brexit: Renzi
Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, has called on the remaining EU members to reorganize the EU. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Renzi said it was "not an easy day."

'Brexit is a disaster for Great Britain': WW2 veteran
Harry Shindler MBE. Photo: Rosie Scammell

“I would have thought that 70 years of peace would have been sufficient for people to say ‘we’re not going to change’ anything."

Renzi calls urgent meeting as Italy's far-right rejoice Brexit
Italy's Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, summoned the country's top economic minds to his home on Friday morning. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Italy's Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, called an extraordinary meeting on Friday morning as global markets were plunged into turmoil by the UK's shock decision to leave the EU.

Brits in Italy left stunned after UK votes for Brexit
Britons on Thursday voted to leave the EU. Photo: Emanuel Dunand/AFP

Britons in Italy woke up to the shocking news on Friday that the UK has voted to leave the EU, sending the pound crashing and fuelling concerns about their future on the continent.

Venice beaches offer 'sun or your money back' deal
Venice beaches are offering 'weather insurance' in a bid to boost visitor numbers this summer. Photo: Darkbeach/Flickr

Authorities hope the move will attract more beachgoers.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
Italian restaurant crowned the best in the world
Ten breathtaking Italian gems you've never heard of
Eritrean held in Italy denies being trafficking kingpin
Italian man 'turns French' after brain injury
Six reasons why South Tyrol will absolutely blow your mind
Why Italy's facing another tough summer
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
Five reasons Rome's mayoral elections actually matter
Ten Airbnb apartments where you'll feel at home in Rome
Quiz: Silvio Berlusconi versus Donald Trump - who said it?
Crew who sunk with WWII sub 'wanted to be found': relative
Why the average ancient Roman worker was dead by 30
Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
Why Italians are falling out of love with the EU
Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
jobs available