She is the first woman to run Rome, but Virginia Raggi’s political problems – just like the city’s rubbish – appear to be mounting by the day. The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement Mayor announced on Thursday, ‘‘by common accord’‘, the departure of the Italian capital’s finance chief, only four days after appointing him.
On her Facebook page, Raggi wrote she had ‘‘just learned’‘ that Raffaele De Dominicis did not have the necessary requirements to fill the post due to 5-Star’s internal party rules.
Since winning a landslide in June, the 38-year-old’s administration has been beset by problems, most notably a scandal involving Paola Muraro, the city’s environment chief. Tasked with trying to sort out the Rome’s rubbish problems, she is currently under criminal investigation tied to her previous role as a consultant for the city’s waste disposal company.
Despite the disarray, for the moment at least, Beppe Grillo, the comic-turned-politician and the founder of 5 Star, has backed Raggi.
‘‘Psychologically she’s bearing up very well and she will keep going.. We will make sure that the 5-Star Movement’s political programme is implemented for Rome’s citizens, ‘’ Grillo said.
Citing the first black American’s to win political office in the US during the 1960’s Grillo also said Raggi was in the same impossible position today as the first black mayor in Mississippi in 1968.
5-Star has built its fortune on denouncing the corruption that has plagued Italy’s traditional parties. But, the turmoil in Rome threatens to dent the party’s squeaky clean image as it seeks to take on Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party at the national level.