Rome mayoral favourite opposes Olympic bid

Virginia Raggi against Rome Olympics for cost reasons.

Rome mayoral candidate Virginia Raggi has reaffirmed her opposition to Rome's 2024 Olympic bid following a key meeting with Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) president Giovanni Malagò on 9 May.

Raggi, who is favourite to win the 5 June mayoral elections, remains opposed to the Rome Olympic bid on cost grounds, saying the money would be better spent on transport, refuse collection, schools, social services and public spaces.

The stance taken by Raggi, of the anti-establishment MoVimento 5 Stelle (M5S), presents a potentially serious problem for the capital's Olympic bid should she be elected mayor in June.

Rome's Olympic bid was submitted last September by former mayor Ignazio Marino and bid leader Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, with the strong approval of Italian premier Matteo Renzi, but would face a major obstacle if it did not have the backing of the city's first citizen.

Raggi also made headlines in recent days after proposing the construction of a cable car to alleviate traffic congestion between Casolotti and Boccea in the capital's western suburbs. She says the system would decongest a traffic-clogged area of the city by connecting commuters to the Battistini metro station, claiming it would cost “one tenth” of installing a tram line and would take 18-24 months to build.

Her radical proposal, which was met with widespread irony on social media, is part of her three-point transport plan, along with extending Metro B and getting the troubled Metro C project operational as far as the Colosseum.