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The 'mission impossible' facing Rome's new female mayor

Transparency in an administration rocked by serial scandals, to be achieved in cooperation with the national anti-corruption body.

Published: 20th June 2016 09:10 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th June 2016 09:10 PM   |  A+A-

Italy-Mayoral Electio_Mukh

New Rome's Mayor Virginia Raggi of the 5-Star Movement waves at the end of a press conference in Rome. |AP

By AFP

ROME: 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:

New mayor's priorities

Transparency in an administration rocked by serial scandals, to be achieved in cooperation with the national anti-corruption body.

Improved public transport with an increased number of buses and trams, more reserved lanes for buses and taxis, a clampdown on double-parking and measures to encourage cycling.

Better garbage collection and recycling. Crackdown on fly-tipping and littering.

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.

Grey areas

Olympic bid: 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.

Rome's debts: Raggi has not said how she plans to reduce the crippling municipal debt burden of more than 12 billion euros ($13.5 billion), beyond ordering an audit of city finances.

Raggi has also been vague about streamlining the city's 60,000 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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