Italian mayor brings Xmas cheer to speedsters

2014-12-24 16:46
European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said recently that the bank may need to take action to stem the rising euro. (Philippe Huguen, AFP)

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said recently that the bank may need to take action to stem the rising euro. (Philippe Huguen, AFP)

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Rome - Rule-breaking motorists in Padua, a wealthy town in north-eastern Italy near Venice, have been given a special Christmas present from their mayor, media reports said on Wednesday.

Massimo Bitonci has decided that no fines would be issued for the more than 112 000 violations picked up by speeding cameras on the city's ring road since they were installed in November. The amnesty is going to apply only until 31 December.

"We decided to consider these two months as a trial period of the speed control system. But from 1 January we will change tune and we will be unforgiving," Bitonci was quoted as saying by local newspaper Il Mattino.

The mayor - who said that the most undisciplined drivers were flashed driving at speeds as high as 180km/h, twice the legal limit on the ring road - posted the article on his Facebook page.

He was criticised by Marco Paccagnella of taxpayers' association Federcontribuenti, who calculated that local authorities were missing out on at least €5m of income, which could have been used for more worthy causes.

Bitonci, hailing from the right-wing Northern League party, was elected in June. He has previously made the national news with anti-migrant and anti-Islam remarks, and a decision to buy crucifixes for local public buildings and schools.

Read more on:    italy

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