ROMA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA: Lo scandalo dell’Affittopoli romana arriva sul NyTimes. Che esalta il ruolo di Tronca e pone dubbi sul futuro. the NYT (28/04/2016 ); L’HUFFINGTON POST (29/04/2016) & IL TEMPO (30/04/2016).

“…Lo scandalo degli affitti a Roma arriva sul New York Times, in un articolo dedicato agli sforzi del commissario straordinario Francesco Paolo Tronca per portare alla luce il malcostume dell’Affittopoli capitolina. Jim Yardley, l’autore dell’articolo, riconosce allo staff di Tronca il merito di aver “scoperto” migliaia di documenti sulle case di proprietà del Comune “lasciati a marcire dai sindaci precedenti”.

1). ROME – In Rome, Cheap Public Housing Hid for Years in Plain Sight, THE NEW YORK TIMES (28/04/2016).


FOTO (NYT): tourists outside an ancient building near Trajan’s Forum in Rome. A charitable group rents the building for one euro a month. Credit Uriel Sinai for The New York Times (28/04/2016).

ROME — Back in 2004, Elio Ciampanella was evicted from his apartment of three decades. He found housing as a live-in caregiver to a disabled child but still wanted a place of his own. So he applied for an apartment in Rome’s public housing. And he waited.

More than a decade passed.

Then, in February, an apartment in the Testaccio neighborhood finally became available. In fact, Mr. Ciampanella, 75, unexpectedly had his choice of several apartments. His tale might be considered one of patience rewarded, but there was a twist: It turned out Rome’s municipal government never really had a shortage of properties.

Instead, the government actually owned so many thousands of apartments and buildings that no one was quite certain how many there were, who lived in them or where they were. That was, until staff members for Rome’s new interim administrator, Francesco Paolo Tronca, discovered nine boxes containing roughly 1,200 case files left languishing by past mayors.

What quickly became clear was that most of the apartments had been rented for years — in some cases, decades — for as little as 10 euros per month.

Some of the sweetheart deals were for charities, sports centers or embassies. Other apartments were supposed to go to low-income tenants but had been doled out by past administrations in a political spoils system that rewarded voting blocs of city workers, union members or just cronies.

“You know Italians,” Mr. Ciampanella joked as he gave a tour of his apartment recently. “If there is a law, they will try to find ways to go around it!”

Rome is the eternal city, suffused in a perfect light, overflowing with heartbreaking beauty. So stipulated. But as far as civic governance goes, it has long been regarded as an unruly mess. The continuing Mafia Capitale case revealed how organized crime has infiltrated everything from city garbage contracts to shelters for migrants.

Unrelated to that scandal, the center-left mayor, Ignazio Marino (an Italian-born, American-trained surgeon who won election in 2013 on an outsider campaign), resigned in October amid public anger over laggard services and irregularities in his expense account.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi appointed an administrator to run the city until voters elect a new mayor in June. In a pointed jab at the Roman political class, Mr. Renzi found his man in Milan: the Italian business capital, known for its better governance.

Enter Mr. Tronca, a taciturn Sicilian who is one of the people credited with the smooth operation of the Expo World Fair last year in Milan.

In Rome, Mr. Tronca inherited the mayor’s elegant office, with a balcony overlooking the ruins of the Roman Forum. But he was presumed to be a placeholder figure, given his short-term tenure.

Instead, he shook things up. After the housing files were discovered, a cross-departmental technical team began trying to figure out under which contracts the city rented the buildings, who was using them and how much they were paying.

Eventually, Mr. Tronca’s staff concluded that the city owned more than 500 apartments and buildings in the historic center that needed to be scrutinized. Citywide, the figure was presumed to be in the thousands.

The rental scandal hit the local news media in February, and Mr. Tronca’s team began evicting egregious violators. One man earning 700,000 euros a year (about $790,000) was discovered to be living in an apartment intended for low-income tenants like Mr. Ciampanella. Evictions will continue, though the longer-term question is what will happen after the June elections, when Mr. Tronca is gone.

“I’m aware that I can only do a small part of the work that should have been done,” Mr. Tronca said in a recent interview, adding that he was trying to build an effective asset management system that the next mayor could use “to complete the journey that we began and not stop.”

Marco Damilano, an author and political commentator in Rome, said the rental scandal reflected a patronage system rooted in Roman political culture for centuries.

“The Roman political class has never managed or directed the city for the common good,” Mr. Damilano said. “It has always responded to the interests of unions, lobbyists and parties.”

Some say it is unfair to make blanket condemnations.

The Sovereign Order of Malta, a charitable group, has enjoyed seemingly the cushiest deal, renting an ancient building overlooking Trajan’s Forum for a mere one euro per month.

Mauro Casinghini, director of the group’s Italian relief corps, which helps rescue migrants, said the municipal government had signed a contract for that amount after World War II. He said that Benito Mussolini’s Fascists had seized the property in the 1930s and that the rental deal was a recognition that the property rightfully belonged to the charitable order.

“They decided to give it back to us,” Mr. Casinghini said, noting that annual maintenance costs could reach 25,000 euros, or about $28,000.

Stefano Guidoni, a photographer, lives with his wife, child and widowed mother in a small apartment near the Colosseum that his father received nearly 40 years ago. His father was a mechanic who worked on vehicles at City Hall, and the apartment was part of his compensation. Today, the family pays about 140 euros a month.

“The problem is not the people who live here,” Mr. Guidoni said. “The problem is the administration. They give you an apartment and they forget about you. Then they wake up and make a fuss about it.”

One of the most embarrassing fusses has involved a local branch of the Democratic Party, the center-left party of the prime minister.

The party’s two-room office in central Rome, on Via dei Giubbonari, was a political clubhouse for the Fascists until it was turned over to Italy’s Communist Party after World War II. As leftist parties rose, fell and combined over the years, the building eventually went to the Democratic Party.

In 1986, Rome’s mayor raised the rent to the equivalent today of 1,200 euros a month. Outraged and arguing that the commercial value of the location was far less, the party instead paid 120 euros per month for 30 years. Italian newspapers have calculated that it may owe 180,000 euros in unpaid rent.

“In 30 years, we have always tried to have a discussion with the city, to negotiate the increase or even understand the legal terms,” said Giulia Urso, secretary of the local branch. “But there was like a wall, regardless of the cabinet or the mayor.”

Ms. Urso added: “It was not just us. It was a whole system that no one wanted to uncover.”

At least one person is quite happy that the system has been uncovered. Mr. Ciampanella said his new neighborhood was a hotbed of fans of Rome’s professional soccer team. He said he did not even need to watch the match because every time the team scored a goal, he could hear the cheers ringing across the streets.

“When Rome scores a goal, even if you are asleep, you’ll know,” he said. And, he added, that is fine by him. He is very pleased with his new home. “A lot of suffering paid off in the end,” he said.


— THE NEW YORK TIMES (28/04/2016).

2). ROMA – Lo scandalo dell’Affittopoli romana arriva sul NyTimes. Che esalta il ruolo di Tronca e pone dubbi sul futuro, L’HUFFINGTON POST (29/04/2016).

Lo scandalo degli affitti a Roma arriva sul New York Times, in un articolo dedicato agli sforzi del commissario straordinario Francesco Paolo Tronca per portare alla luce il malcostume dell’Affittopoli capitolina. Jim Yardley, l’autore dell’articolo, riconosce allo staff di Tronca il merito di aver “scoperto” migliaia di documenti sulle case di proprietà del Comune “lasciati a marcire dai sindaci precedenti”.

“Presto divenne chiaro che molti di quegli appartamenti erano stati affittati per anni – in alcuni casi per decenni – a 10 euro al mese”, scrive Yardle. In alcuni casi i beneficiari erano “organizzazioni di volontariato, centri sportivi o ambasciate”. “Altri appartamenti, in teoria destinati ad affittuari di basso reddito, erano stati distribuiti dalle passate amministrazioni in base a uno spoil system politico” concepito per premiare blocchi di elettori specifici, come i dipendenti comunali o i sindacati, o semplicemente “gli amici”.

Il NyTimes esalta il ruolo del commissario Tronca nel portare alla luce lo scandalo. E sottolinea il fatto che, scegliendo lui dopo le dimissioni del sindaco Ignazio Marino, il premier Matteo Renzi è andato a “pescare il suo uomo a Milano: la capitale italiana del business, conosciuta per il suo governo migliore”. Dando così un affondo tagliente alla classe politica romana.

“A Roma Mr Tronca ha ereditato l’elegante ufficio del sindaco, con un balcone che si affaccia sulle rovine del Foro Romano”, scrive il Times. “Da lui ci si aspettava un ruolo simbolico, data la brevità del suo mandato. Al contrario, ha dato una scossa alla situazione. Dopo la scoperta dei documenti, un team cross-dipartimentale ha iniziato a lavorare per capire sotto quali contratti, a chi e per quanti soldi il Comune stava affittando i suoi immobili. Alla fine lo staff di Tronca ha concluso che il Comune era in possesso di oltre 500 appartamenti e palazzi nel centro storico che dovevano essere controllati. In tutta la città la cifra era stimata in migliaia […]. Gli sfratti continueranno anche dopo che Tronca avrà lasciato il suo posto, ma la domanda a lungo termine è cosa succederà dopo le elezioni di giugno […]”.


— L’HUFFINGTON POST (29/04/2016).


3). ROMA – Lo scandalo sbarca negli Usa. Nyt: “A Roma regalavano case” Il New York Times bacchetta i sindaci e premia Tronca IL LIBRO Favori agli amici dei politici Così è nata la nostra inchiesta, IL TEMPO (30/04/2016).

L’Affittopoli romana sbarca negli Stati Uniti d’America, nella Grande Mela, precisamente. Con tanto di elogi per Francesco Paolo Tronca e, soprattutto, di Matteo Renzi. Lo fa attraverso il corrispondente del New York Times nella Capitale, Jim Yardley, che ha raccontato lo scandalo amministrativo simbolo del 2015. L’articolo pubblicato nella sezione Europa sul sito dell’autorevole quotidiano stelle e strisce, esalta tra le altre cose il ruolo di Francesco Paolo Tronca, il commissario straordinario capitolino che ha dato una scossa alla situazione («he shook things up») e di fatto ha iniziato a rimettere in ordine il disastro scoperto da Il Tempo nel febbraio 2015, caos che la giunta guidata da Ignazio Marino non era stata in grado di sistemare nonostante qualche timido tentativo. dell’assessore Cattoi. Queste le parole spese dal giornalista americano sull’azione dell’ex prefetto di Milano: «A Roma Mr. Tronca ha ereditato l’elegante ufficio del sindaco – si legge – con un balcone che si affaccia sulle rovine del Foro Romano. Da lui ci si aspettava un ruolo simbolico, data la brevità del suo mandato. Al contrario, ha dato una scossa alla situazione». I complimenti a Tronca finiscono, tuttavia, per essere una specie di endorsement al premier Matteo Renzi, che secondo l’articolo «è andato a prendere il suo uomo a Milano: la capitale del business, conosciuta per il suo governo migliore». Una completa bocciatura per la politica romana, dopo che il 23 luglio 2015 lo stesso quotidiano newyorkese aveva stroncato l’azione dell’ex sindaco Ignazio Marino, evidenziando il degrado romano. E proprio a questo proposito, è eloquente la chiusa dell’articolo: «Ora gli sfratti continueranno – si legge – anche se la domanda a lungo termine è: cosa succederà dopo le elezioni di giugno?». Accadrà che il nostro quotidiano, che primo – e in solitaria – si è occupato dello scandalo dando vita all’inchiesta, continuerà a vigilare affinché la politica, e quindi il nuovo sindaco, porti avanti con la stessa determinazione il “repulisti” iniziato dal prefetto Tronca. Ecco, di seguto, la prefazione al libro “Affittopoli romana” del nostro Vincenzo Bisbiglia, che ripercorre le fasi salienti dell’indagine giornalistica.


— IL TEMPO (30/04/2016).



— ROMA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA: Virginia Raggi, Sindaca di Roma & Sgomberi Via del Colosseo 73: ecco come il Comune potrebbe insabbiare tutto. Il Primato Nazionale (08/02/2017).

— ROMA ARCHEOLOGIA e RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA: Gossip sul sindaco Marino [DAJE – I Gansters dell’ via del Colosseo]: viene ad abitare in una casa del comune a via del Colosseo, ROMA CAPITALE NEWS (21|10|2014).

— ROMA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA: CAOS IMMOBILI A ROMA – Al Campidoglio basta un caffè Ecco la top 10 dei canoni ridicoli, IL TEMPO (08|02|2016 & 08|04|2015). Foto & La Nuova Affittopoli, LA REPUBBLICA (26|02|2011).