ROMA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA: New York Times Article on Rome’s Decay Draws a Surge of New Scrutiny, THE NEW YORK TIMES (24|07|2015) & L’ESPRESSO (29|07|2015).
ROME — The subject has filled afternoon television, dominated newspaper headlines, emboldened critics and left many frustrated Romans with the sense that, finally, someone else was noticing.
Widespread frustrations about the deterioration of Rome, a longstanding issue in this city, blew up into an even bigger political and media storm after the complaints were aired — to a mix of relief and despair — to an international audience.
In news outlets and on social media networks, Italians seized on an article, published online late Wednesday by The New York Times, as evidence that Rome — the eternal city, eternally falling apart — was indeed in “degrado,” or decaying, even more than usual.
Tourists and locals walked by an expanding pile of trash in the historic neighborhood of Trastevere in Rome earlier this month = Rome Journal: Romans Put Little Faith in Mayor as Their Ancient City DegradesJULY 22, 2015
Two national Italian dailies each devoted two full pages of coverage to the article. A Rome-based newspaper, Il Messaggero, referred to it on its front page on Friday. A national television channel discussed the article and reactions to it on both its afternoon and evening news broadcasts, and a daily afternoon talk show led off with the subject two days running.
“Corruption and filth, America no longer loves the eternal city,” read a headline on Friday in La Repubblica, a leading daily.
The surge of new attention focused on Rome’s problems intensified the scrutiny and pressure on Mayor Ignazio Marino, a former transplant surgeon who has faced criticism of his management of the city.
Mr. Marino responded on Friday by reshuffling the board of directors of the city’s public transportation company, a major object of Roman ire. Repeated strikes and service problems have so frustrated passengers on the city’s subway system that some of them recently tried to beat up a subway train conductor.
The mayor called the decline in service in the system “dramatic” and unworthy of Italy’s capital, and ordered its general director to fire whoever was responsible and to appoint new managers. He also urged Guido Improta, the City Council member responsible for transportation in Rome, to finalize his already announced resignation. The steps followed the Italian media’s focus on what was interpreted as a reference to Mr. Marino’s weakness in the article’s headline.
The city’s longstanding critics took the article and the viral reaction to it as vindication.
“I think there is no one in #Rome who doesn’t think it’s #degrado. Now it’s not us whiners saying it, but it’s the NYT,” a researcher in contemporary history wrote on Thursday in a Twitter post.
“But now that Rome’s degradation is on the @nytimes, where are all those Romans who mock us for exaggerating? Come out now … ” said another Twitter post by Roma Fa Schifo, or Rome Sucks, a website that since 2008 has chronicled the administration’s shortcomings by posting pictures of crowded buses, potholes, garbage piles near historic sites and double- or triple-parked cars.
Politicians also took up the subject and ran with it. The mayor’s opponents in Rome called for him to resign and hold an early election. Both the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the right-wing party Forza Italia — some of whose members were involved in an investigation of mafia infiltration of the city government — said Mr. Marino should go.
By Thursday evening, even Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, found himself having to comment.
In an interview aired on a television program, “TG5,” he dryly answered a question posed by a journalist about Mr. Marino’s track record, as well as that of the governor of Sicily, Rosario Crocetta, who has been even more harshly attacked by the news media in recent weeks.
“If they are able to govern, they should govern,” Mr. Renzi said. “Otherwise, they should go.”
Mr. Marino defended his position once again on Friday, saying that the city would bring in a new contractor for parks and streets maintenance in September and that his administration would turn its focus from financial and administration issues to transportation and sanitation.
“We re-established legality in the balance sheets,” Mr. Marino said in an interview with La Repubblica. “Now we have to improve the quality of life.”
Correction: July 25, 2015
An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to “TG5.” It is a television program, not a channel.
FONTE | SOURCE:
— THE NEW YORK TIMES (24|07|2015)
— Roma, degrado rifiuti a Trastevere | Fotogalleria, L’ESPRESSO (29|07|2015).
— ROMA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA: Rome on ‘verge of collapse’ due to advanced ‘state of decay’, THE DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK CITY (15 JULY 2015) & THE NEW YORK TIMES (22 JULY 2015), p. A4;
ROMA, LA REP (23|07|2015) | NEW YORK TIMES (22|07|2015) – Il degrado di Roma finisce sul New York Times: “Marino onesto, ma è anche capace?”