City assembly passes motion to evict far-right group from illegally occupied Rome building.
Rome city council has passed a motion calling for the "immediate eviction" of the far-right organisation CasaPound from a city building it has occupied illegally since 2003.
The motion, which calls for the "intervention of the interior ministry, the prefect and police chief", was presented by the opposition centre-left Partito Democratico (PD), with councillors from the populist Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S) of Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi also voting in favour.
Four centre-right councillors voted against the motion, passed on 29 January, to evict CasaPound from a building on Via Napoleone III, not far from the central Termini station, in the city's multi-ethnic Esquilino district.
In recent months Raggi said the city was "ready" to evict the neo-fascist CasaPound "as soon as the [interior] ministry decides", adding that she would "count on government support" for the move.
Matteo Salvini, Italy's interior minister, deputy premier and leader of the far-right Lega, has said more than once that evicting CasaPound was "not among the priorities" of his ministry.
However the city's approval of the motion puts fresh pressure on Salvini who is currently overseeing a campaign of evictions of abandoned Rome buildings, many of them occupied by migrants.
Salvini responded immediately to the news from city hall by saying: "We will proceed with the security operation and eviction of all illegal occupations, none excluded."
CasaPound has occupied the former government building - owned by the Agenzia del Demanio, the Italian public body responsible for the management of state-owned heritage properties - since 26 December 2003.
Photo L'Espresso / Alessandro Cosmelli