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Northern League petitions for red-light district in Milan

Matteo Salvini says he wouldn't oppose brothel in his area

12 March, 18:11
Northern League petitions for red-light district in Milan (ANSA) - Milan, March 12 - The head of the regionalist Northern League said Wednesday that his party plans to collect signatures on a petition calling for a red-light district for Italy's business capital city of Milan.

In a radio interview, Matteo Salvini said he would not oppose a brothel in his neighbourhood, "even in my house, I see no problem".

He told the radio program La Zanzara that beginning on March 29, the League will begin to circulate petitions gathering signatures in favour of opening brothels. The exchange of sexual services for money is legal in Italy but organized prostitution - indoors in brothels or controlled by third parties - is prohibited.

Brothels became illegal in 1958 but there have been periodic calls, especially from right-wing and populist parties, to bring them back.

An estimated 70,000 prostitutes work in Italy, half of them foreign-born and 20% under the legal age for sex work of 18, according to the most recent survey by activist organization Gruppo Abele.

Abele says there are nine million "assiduous or occasional" clients of sex workers in Italy, who generate a turnover of 5.6 billion euros.