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Italy to crack down on illegal rave parties

Meloni government under fire over new measures.

Italy's new government of far-right prime minister Giorgia Meloni is to crack down on unauthorised rave parties by introducing stiff fines and lengthy jail terms.

The measures were announced on Monday by interior minister Matteo Piantedosi as police broke up an illegal rave in a disused warehouse in the northern city of Modena.

Over the past weekend thousands of revellers from Italy and across Europe attended the Witchtrek 2K22 rave which had been due to last until Tuesday but was broken up by police on Monday morning.

Under the new decree, the government will introduce a new crime of "invasion for dangerous gatherings" of more than 50 people, with organisers of illegal raves facing up to six years in prison.

Authorities will also be able to hand out fines of up to €10,000 and confiscate sound systems.

The measures were welcomed by deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, leader of the right-wing Lega party, who said on Twitter: “Happy Halloween to everyone except those from half Europe who came to cause chaos in Modena in Italy with an illegal rave party".

Meloni defended the measures, claiming that: "Up to now Italy has given the impression of being lax, with the new rules we will be the same as other European countries".

However the government came under fire for targeting raves while ignoring thousands of fascist sympathisers who gathered on Sunday in Predappio, the birthplace of dictator Benito Mussolini, to mark the centenary of of the March on Rome.

Piantedosi argued that the two events were "completely different things", claiming that the rally in Predappio had not disrupted public order and "has been happening for many years".

Enrico Letta, leader of the centre-left Partito Democratico (PD), said the new measures against unauthorised raves "sound like a limit to the freedom of citizens and a preventive threat against dissent", while Giuseppe Conte, leader of the populist MoVimento 5 Stelle (M5S) likened the legislation to that of a "police state".

Photo Tgcom24-Mediaset

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