Raggi criticised for fridge comments

Mayor told paper dumped furniture, fridges in Rome 'strange'

(ANSA) - Rome, October 25 - Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi came under fire on Tuesday over her claim that the large number of refrigerators abandoned on Rome streets is suspicious.
    A representative of public service union FP CGIL for the Rome and Lazio areas, Natale Di Cola, said the trade union had filed a complaint in May because the service provided by Rome's trash collection agency AMA to dispose of large waste was not active anymore.
    "The service to collect large waste has expired and AMA made a mistake in the procedure for a new tender", said Di Cola.
    He added that the service is only partially carried out by AMA workers who are employed in other capacities.
    AMA's toll-free number states that the service has not been available since June 18.
    Members of Premier Matteo Renzi's Democratic Party (PD) slammed Raggi's statement, made in an interview to La Repubblica daily, with PD Senator Andrea Marcucci tweeting that nobody had informed him of the "fridge plot".
    Opposition PD Rome councilor Valeria Baglio also said a public competition to provide the service was launched in August, as published on AMA's website.
    "I am surprised that the mayor talks about a conspiracy and doesn't know that a tender for bulky rubbish was suspended this summer because the only participant and winner of the competition did not have the requirements requested by the law", Baglio was quoted as saying by the Huffington Post.
    The service is reportedly scheduled to resume in December.
    In an interview to Rome daily La Repubblica published on Tuesday, Raggi said the large number of furniture and refrigerators dumped on Rome's roads was suspicious.
    Talking about the trash emergency in Rome and the reorganization of AMA, the anti-establishment Five-Star Movement (M5S) mayor told the paper's Editor-in-chief Mario Calabresi that she had never seen "so much heavy trash, couches, refrigerators abandoned on the street".
    "I don't know if moves are being made, if many people are renovating their homes, but it is strange..", she noted, adding that many fridges she saw were "broken and scratched".
    The situation over uncollected trash in parts of Rome has been one the major headaches for Raggi, who was elected the Italian capital's first woman mayor in June and has struggled to get her administration off the ground since the vote.