‘Rescuer’ quits on Rome’s debt-hit transport system
ROME’S transport system is suffocating under debts and should declare bankruptcy, the outgoing head of the public company said at the weekend, piling pressure on the 5-Star Movement which runs city hall.
Bruno Rota quit Atac on Friday, three months after taking charge of the Italian capital’s bus, metro and tram network, saying he was unable to salvage the firm and feared legal action tied to any eventual collapse.
“It is an appalling scandal,” said Rota, called to Rome after helping turn around the transport system in the northern city of Milan. “The situation is worse than you can imagine,” he told La Repubblica newspaper.
Rota’s dramatic departure has triggered yet another crisis for the city’s 5-Star administration, which won power last year in what was seen as a litmus test of whether the anti-establishment group was ready to run Italy.
Since taking office, the 5-Star has been in constant tumult, with more than a dozen senior city officials either being sacked or quitting in just 12 months, while Rome’s infrastructure continues its inexorable decay.
On Friday, the city, which is suffering a prolonged drought, narrowly managed to avoid water rationing, but the Atac strife and internal 5-Star battles meant mayor Virginia Raggi had no time to celebrate. – Reuters