Rome mayor vows to empty illegally occupied buildings

Raggi announcement follows eviction of refugees from illegally occupied building.

Rome mayor Virginia Raggi says that the city is investigating "about 100" illegally occupied buildings, both public and privately-owned, with the goal of "restoring legality."

Raggi said that the investigation would focus first on the occupied properties considered most at risk from a "security point of view" and assessing whether the occupants were entitled to housing assistance from the city.

Posting on her Facebook page, the mayor contrasted the 100 illegally-occupied buildings with the "scandal" of the city's "200,000 empty homes", either unsold or left vacant by their owners.
Rome riot police used water cannon after recent eviction near Piazza dell'Indipendenza. Photo ANSA.
Raggi's announcement comes a week after the city's heavy-handed eviction of hundreds of migrants, many of them refugees, from a building near Rome's Termini station. The subsequent clashes between police and the evicted residents made headlines around the world.