Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

Rome faces shutdown in cash crisis

A cash crisis is threatening public services in Rome

Rome's mayor says the Italian capital next week risks a shutdown of public transport, rubbish collection and other city services unless Parliament quickly frees up funds.

Mayor Ignazio Marino stressed he's not seeking a bailout. The 320 million euros (£263m) blocked in Parliament are Roman taxpayer money that the national government was supposed to give back to the city by February 28.

But Parliament is suffering gridlock as opposition MPs use stalling tactics to protest that Italy last week got another premier who wasn't elected. Ex-Florence mayor Matteo Renzi, 39, was sworn in as Italy's youngest premier.

Romans are caught in the middle. Marino says if the funds don't arrive, city buses won't have fuel, rubbish collection will halt, day-care and other public services will close.

Marino said: "I can't blow on buses to make them go."

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