Rome mayor in favour of red-light zones

Marino's comments follow call for decriminalising cannabis

The mayor of Rome Ignazio Marino has said he is in favour of creating red-light districts for prostitution in the capital, however he said that “unfortunately it is not a decision that can be taken by the mayor.” Stating that prostitution was currently “pervasive” in Rome, Marino said he would be in favour of creating areas where it is allowed and areas where it is forbidden.

The centre-left mayor made his comments on a local radio station on 22 May, the day after calling for the decriminalising of marijuana.

His views on prostitution led to an outcry from opposition politicians including city councillor Dario Rossin, who recently converted to the centre-right Forza Italia from the far-right Fratelli d'Italia. "The hippy mayor Marino believes he is living in a commune," accused Rossin, while councillor Giordano Tredicine from the centre-right Popolo della Libertà asked Marino to identify, hypothetically, the "fortunate areas of the city" he had in mind for the red-light zones.