Rome's Mayor Virginia Raggi has vetoed the city's bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. Submitting a bid for the Games would be irresponsible and would only benefit the construction lobby at the expense of the people, the mayor said. Italian columnists express their disappointment.
Virginia Raggi's self-serving no
With her no to the Olympics Virginia Raggi is simply trying to save her Movimento Cinque Stelle party, La Stampa complains:
“The movement was in bad shape after the tensions surrounding the formation of the city council in Rome. With the party conference about to take place in Palermo [this Saturday], Beppe Grillo's supporters were seeking an effective message that would trigger a wave of indignation. A wave that serves to close the party's ranks once more. … At this stage, as unacceptable as the decision of Movimento Cinque Stelle and Mayor Raggi may be (as well as the manner in which it was taken and announced), we have no choice but to resign ourselves to this umpteenth proof of nullity.”
A missed opportunity
Rome indeed already has plenty of problems to deal with, but that only strengthens the argument for making a bid for the Olympics, Avvenire finds:
“The reasons for rejecting the bid should not be dismissed offhand and are in some cases justified, particularly as far as the economic benefits are concerned. The world (and Rome itself) is full of buildings that were constructed for large sport events but then forgotten and left to go to ruin. But in this case, in view of the dreadful state these buildings are in, the capital could actually have gained more than it would lose by hosting the games. External funding would have flown into the empty municipal coffers, and the city would have had the chance to prove that it can manage this funding properly and transparently.”