Rome's new female mayor facing 'mission impossible'

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Virginia Raggi is Rome's first female mayor. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP
08:04 CEST+02:00
As Rome's first female mayor, Virginia Raggi faces a series of challenges described by one expert as "mission impossible".

Here are some of the top issues she will be grappling with:

The city's administration has been rocked by a series of scandals but Raggi hopes to bring more transparency to city hall by working closely with the national anti-corruption body.

Public transport

Frequent delays on the city's buses, trams and trains are a major bugbear for Romans.

The new mayor has promised to increase the number of buses and trams, create more reserved lanes for buses and taxis, clamp down on double-parking and introduce measures to encourage cycling.


Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Rome's streets are often filled with rubbish, which even piles up around some of the city's most iconic monuments.

The new mayor's strategy will include better garbage collection and recycling and a crackdown on fly-tipping and littering.

Roma and Sinti

Raggi wants to reduce the numbers of Roma and Sinti people staying in camps around the capital via a survey of their assets. Anyone with property elsewhere will be asked to leave.

Rome's Olympic bid

Photo: Gabriel Buoys/AFP

Raggi wants to use sport, art and culture to bolster Rome's international image. But she has said the bid for the 2024 Games, backed by the government, is "not a priority".

Her position on the Olympics appeared to soften however during the campaign and she has said she will appoint a bid backer, ex-rugby international Andrea Lo Cicero, as her sports supremo so Rome 2024 is not off the cards just yet.

The Eternal City's debts

Raggi has not said how she plans to reduce the crippling municipal debt burden of more than €12 billion, beyond ordering an audit of city finances.

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Raggi has also been vague about streamlining the city's 60,000-strong workforce, notorious for chronic absenteeism: on any given day, one in five employees is not at his or her desk.

With all these items and more on her to-do list, Raggi is looking at a "mission impossible", according to Roberto D'Alimonte, political science professor at Rome's Luiss university.

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