Marino threatens to halt Rome

Renzi promises funds but criticises Marino's "tone"

A spat has developed between Italy's newly sworn-in premier Matteo Renzi and the mayor of Rome Ignazio Marino over special funding for the capital.

The mayor claims that Rome risks being unable to cater for the upcoming canonisation ceremony of popes John Paul II and John XXII on 27 April, a major event for any city. "I'll halt the city – Marino threatened in a radio interview on 27 February – people will have to fend for themselves".

Marino has also said that without funding the city may not be able to pay salaries to 25,000 of its employees in March, as well as not having enough money for bus fuel, nurseries or rubbish collection. Marino added that he would rather resign that preside over the city defaulting.

Marino blamed the previous government for dropping its support for special measures for Rome, which then stalled in parliament because of opposition from the Movimento 5 Stelle.

Prime minister Renzi has now pledged that his government will present a new local government funding measure, which includes special financing for Rome, on condition that the capital presents new budget proposals to cover its costs.

Renzi has criticised the outspoken stance of the mayor, a fellow member of the Partita Democratica (PD), inviting politicians to “get used to using a different language”, saying, “Marino's motives were absolutely understandable, his tone absolutely wasn't."