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Can Ignazio Marino stop Rome's decline?

Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino (Niccolò Caranti/ Wikimedia Commons/ cc)

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and there’s no guarantee that the social and financial woes plaguing the city today can be corrected during a mayoral term. But Mayor Ignazio Marino is determined to try, Walter Mayr reports in Der Spiegel.  

Rome’s troubles are visible at the central train station, where hundreds of homeless, including African refugees, huddle nightly in sleeping bags. Roman slums are likened to parts of Mumbai. Impoverished immigrants live in a tent encampment. Pigs have been spotted near dumpsters and many city buses are broken due to defective or unavailable parts.

Marino took office in June 2013. Early in his tenure, Rome was teetering on bankruptcy. The national government stepped in with an $829 million cash infusion, the article says. The mayor, a surgeon who rides an e-bike and envisions a car-free capital, is tapping other cities for ideas and willing to make unpopular decisions. Among his proposed remedies: privatize some municipal services, auction metro station names to raise revenue and increase taxes on hotel stays. 

Der Spiegel

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