5 Things You Need to Know About Rome's First Female Mayor
For the first time in 3,000 years, a woman is leading Italy's illustrious capital.
Virginia Raggi, 37, a lawyer and former city council member, swept up 67 percent of the mayoral vote under the anti-establishment Five Star Movement party.
According to a BBC report, Raggi promised to be "a mayor for all Romans" who "will restore legality and transparency to the city's institutions after 20 years of poor governance."
Now critics say Raggi will inherit a city with a debt twice the amount of its annual budget, and her party will pose a critical challenge to the current Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, the youngest Prime Minister in Italy's history.
Here are five things you need to know about this female trailblazer:
1. Eradicating corruption was a crucial platform for her mayoral campaign
Rome has faced multiple public corruption scandals and was even nicknamed, “Mafia Capitale.” "We are facing a historic moment. Romans are ready to turn a page and I am ready to govern this city and to restore Rome to the splendour and beauty that it deserves," Raggi said earlier during her campaign.
2. She says she will pay particular attention to municipal issues
The trailblazer has called for a more “livable” Rome and will be tasked with creating solutions for the city’s waste, infrastructure, and parking problems.
3. Taking on the Vatican is part of her agenda
Raggi pledged to investigate claims worth €250 million and €400 million in allegedly unpaid taxes on the Vatican’s real estate and other assets. She plans on having a “frank discussion” with the institution about these claims.
4. Hosting the 2024 Olympic Games may be off the table for Rome
She says Rome has higher priorities like meeting basic municipal needs rather than hosting a global competition.
5. She became involved in politics after becoming a mother
Raggi has been active in politics since 2011, after her son was born. She said in an interview that after his birth she "couldn't sit back any longer and just watch." She started participating in her local neighborhood politics "in the spirit of mothers who want to change the world for their children."
Photo Credit: TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images