The residents are ready to bring the matter to court.
The inhabitants of Rome’s historical center have written to the Mayor, and put in the crosshairs municipal workers for whom Raggi has allocated a financial bonus. The residents are ready to bring the matter to court.
While employees of the city have been allocated millions of euros in bonuses, the Capital cannot find the money needed to compensate holders of ZTL permits. The residents of the historic center, represented by Roberto Tomassi of the Campo Marzio association, have written a letter to Mayor Virginia Raggi in which they say they are
"outraged by the unequal treatment between categories of citizens"
and in which they announce that they are ready to appeal to the judicial courts against the city of Rome.
In the letter, residents denounced an anomoly: they paid (handsomely) for permits required to enter the ZTL zones in which they live, but they could not use them because, with the pandemic restrictions, the center has been open to all for almost 8 months.
Since August, they have been waiting for extensions promised by Raggi’s administration, but they never arrived, seemingly due to a lack of resources. Money that instead, for other citizens, was found. "We have learned from press reports that your administration has allocated thirty six million euros in additional bonuses for municipal employees,” residents wrote addressing the mayor. “We are indignant to see how you decide to discretionally give additional sums to a category of citizens, while you refuse to recognize others in a different category”.
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After months of waiting, time has expired. The letter is "a last heartfelt request to provide the right relief to us", but in three days the residents will file a suit in municpial courts, since "decisions have been made regarding the opening of the ZTL without considering all of the consequences linked to it".
In fact, when the mayor decided to open the ZTL zones to all drivers in March 2020, the administration did not consider a form of compensation for those who have paid a service which was suspended for almost 8 months. Only in August, after Tomassi's insistence to have information on the matter, did an initial answer arrive from the Department of Transportation, led by Pietro Calabrese (soon to become vice-mayor), and the citizens were assured that the mayor’s offices were working on a plan to extend current permits for 6 months.
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A commitment was confirmed to arrive "at the end of November by councillor Calabrese, who also informed us of the problems that the Capitoline administration was having in finding the necessary coverage in the budget", the citizens wrote to explain the whole story. Finally, on 28 December, when it appeared the city had done nothing, the first formal requests for compensation were made. Almost a month has passed, and in 72 hours those who have not yet obtained any compensation can appeal to the court, starting a class action lawsuit that would cost the municipality dearly. “An administration refusing to recognize our rights, forced us to protect our interests by building the preconditions for action before a municipal judge," wrote the holders of ZTL permits who say they are "disappointed by the total lack of consideration for those who contribute significant sums to the municipal budget, often for the sole purpose of being able to reach their homes with a vehicle”.
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To enter the ZTL zones, in fact, twenty one thousand residents and workers pay the permits. For those who live in the ZTL historic center (eleven thousand people), the cost varies between 200 and 300 euros per year, while those who have to reach a business must pay up to two thousand euros. Money that residents and workers have no intention of just giving away to the Raggi administration, all the more so if the mayor’s government is able to bestow millions of euros in bonuses to others.