Rome eyes build­ings con­fis­cated from mafia to house mi­grants

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Rome au­thor­i­ties are look­ing into whether build­ings con­fis­cated from the mafia can be used to house mi­grants, a move that comes af­ter po­lice were crit­i­cized for the vi­o­lent clashes that erupted as they tried to evac­u­ate a build­ing oc­cu­pied by asy­lum-seek­ers. Mayor Vir­ginia Raggi said city of­fi­cials were map­ping out the con­fis­cated real es­tate to de­ter­mine if any build­ings were suit­able for tem­po­rary hous­ing. A first cen­sus of the 200,000 po­ten­tially avail­able apart­ments is due by 31 Oc­to­ber, Raggi said in a Face­book post. Rome au­thor­i­ties and po­lice have come un­der with­er­ing crit­i­cism af­ter of­fi­cers used wa­ter can­nons against asy­lum-seek­ers last week. The mi­grants, mostly from Eritrea and Ethiopia, had camped out on a cen­tral pi­azza af­ter be­ing evicted from a build­ing they had oc­cu­pied since 2013. Po­lice said the raids were nec­es­sary be­cause the mi­grants had cook­ing gas can­is­ters and other flammable ma­te­ri­als. The UN refugee agency de­nounced the evic­tions, es­pe­cially when ad­e­quate al­ter­na­tive hous­ing ar­range­ments weren’t pro­vided.

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