Rome mayor seeks Saudi cash injection

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Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino will travel to Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Photo: Osservatore Romano/AFP
11:04 CET+01:00
Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino will travel to Saudi Arabia this weekend to secure investment in the city, just weeks after the Italian capital won government funds to stave off bankruptcy.

Marino will travel to the Middle Eastern state on Saturday “to receive a donation for the city”, he was quoted in Corriere della Sera as saying.

The city mayor said he was making the trip “because in the period of balancing the books, every hour is precious.”

The invitation came from Saudi royal Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who met Marino at a Rome exhibition in October, Corriere reported.

“On that occasion we asked about the availability of philanthropic funds for the restoration of some works in Rome. We have made a list of possible works from which they can choose,” Marino said this week, although the sum of the investment remains undisclosed.

The visit is the latest attempt by the mayor to draw alternative funds to the capital.

Last week, luxury jeweller Bulgari signed a deal to pay for the restoration of Rome’s Spanish Steps, while the owner of the Italian shoe label Tod’s has already ploughed millions of euros into the Colosseum.

READ MORE: Bulgari to fund Rome's Spanish Steps renovation

In February, Marino threatened the city could come to a “standstill” without a government cash injection. Lawmakers later signed a €570 million payment to bail out Rome, although the city still has some way to go before it can overcome its €816 million budget deficit.

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READ MORE: Italy government bails out debt-ridden Rome

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