Friday, December 3

Wild boars in the streets of Rome are being used against me, says the mayor | Italy


A group of wild boars strutting along a traffic-laden highway in Rome has catapulted the issue of the Italian capital’s state of decline to the top of the debate ahead of the mayoral elections.

Much to the bewilderment of onlookers, around 13 wild boars, distinguished by their rough hair, robust bodies and sharp tusks, walked through traffic on Via Trionfale, a busy street in the northern suburb of Monte Mario.

The scene was captured in a video widely shared on social media, prompting jokes (it was suggested that Rome should introduce “boar lanes” instead of bicycle lanes), but also exasperation among residents as they prepare to vote in the elections of 3and October 4.

Wild boar sightings in Rome are nothing new – they are often seen rummaging through piles of garbage, usually on the outskirts of the city. But the animals are getting more brash.

Last week, wild boars mingled with parents as they waited to pick up their children from a school in the Monte Mario district. The animals were also recently photographed outside the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while some residents reported being followed by a wild boar as they took out the trash.

In May, a group of hungry wild boars surrounded a woman in a supermarket parking lot in Formello, a city on the outskirts of Rome, before stealing her shopping bags and eating the contents.

Wild boar corners an Italian woman and steals her food purchase - video
Wild boar corners an Italian woman and steals her food purchase – video

Virginia Raggi, a Five Star Movement politician, hopes to win a second term as mayor, despite being frequently attacked by city management.

She blames the leaders of the surrounding Lazio region for what she described as “the massive and uncontrolled presence of wild boars in the capital of Italy” and recently launched legal proceedings against the regional authority on the matter.

As his political opponents took advantage of the latest wild boar sighting, he said: “My detractors continue to use photos and videos of wild boars in Rome, which gives me full responsibility.

“It is clear that wild boars are a problem that does not only concern the capital. If a lady is chased by a wild boar in Formello, a small town north of Rome, the next day the newspapers say that I am responsible. “

Raggi noted that Formello was led by a mayor from the far-right Liga party.

The mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, is campaigning in Ostia with the Italian Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio.
Mayor Virginia Raggi campaigning in Ostia with Italian Chancellor Luigi Di Maio. Photography: Alessandro Serranò / Rex

Residents of Rome have long lamented the decay (decay), from trash-strewn streets and neglected parks to potholes and graffiti-streaked historic buildings. But while there was some improvement in the maintenance of Rome during the pandemic, the old problems reappeared as the city became busier.

Raggi was elected mayor in June 2016 with a promise to solve all deep-seated problems and make Rome “livable again.”

Polls this week placed her third out of four contenders. Enrico Michetti, a far-right Italian Brothers politician, leads the polls, followed by Roberto Gualtieri of the center-left Democratic party. Carlo Calenda, who heads Azione, described as a centrist liberal party, is in fourth place.

Since neither candidate is expected to get more than 50% of the vote in the first round, two will go on to compete in a second ballot on October 13. During a debate between the candidates on Wednesday, Gualtieri promised to order “an extraordinary cleanup” of Rome, while Calenda promised to spend 38 million euros “to clean the sidewalks, remove graffiti from the walls, clean the drains and clean the surroundings. the garbage cans ”.

Raggi claimed on Wednesday that he had outperformed Gualtieri in the polls and would therefore continue to defend the far right in the second round, although this claim has been disputed. “The reality is that the mayor has not surpassed Gualtieri in the polls,” said Beatrice Lorenzin, a politician with the Democratic party.


www.theguardian.com

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