Virginia Raggi, the (first female) mayor of Rome posted an alarming message on Facebook, calling on the authorities to stop the migration influx into her city. She expressed her sympathies with the migrants, but social tensions amongst her citizens are getting out of hand. She finds it “risky” to continue like this.

Raggi stated:

“Rome is subjected to strong migration pressure. It can’t go on like this. I sent a letter to the Prefect of Rome in recent days to ask the Interior Ministry to stop the new arrivals of migrants in the city.”

“From the first day we worked on the ground on the immigration issue (…) we will not allow anyone to prey on the weakest. And at the same time, we need to listen to the Roman citizens: we cannot allow creating further social tensions. For this I find it impossible, as well as risky, to think of continuing to receive more migrants.”

“I really hope that this appeal does not fall into the void. And especially that the Government takes into account these words of mine whenever they decide where to send new migrants. I will ask a meeting with the responsible manager to intervene on the issue of uncontrolled arrivals.”

Rome, a city of about 3 million people, currently hosts about 8,000 migrants. But under formulas agreed with Italy’s government in 2014, it would need to take in a further 2,000. The government has not yet responded to Raggi’s message.