Town scraps free parking for mothers who had to be married
A TOWN in northern Italy that caused outrage for offering free parking to pregnant women and young mothers only if they were married or an EU citizen has had to perform an about-turn.
The policy, approved by the council in Pontida, 25 miles north-east of Milan, said permits would be “exclusively for women belonging to a natural family who are Italian citizens or from a European Union member family”.
However, Luigi Carozzi, the mayor, agreed to scrap the policy after it was criticised for excluding single mothers, gay people and foreign women.
Pontida, a town of 3,200 inhabitants in Lombardy, is run by the anti-immigrant Northern League party.
Gionata Ghilardi, an opposition councillor, called the policy unacceptable. “I can’t find words to express my dissent,” she said.
Maurizio Martina, the Italian agriculture minister, said it was a step towards apartheid. “How far do they want to go?” she asked. “Next they will be asking for reserved places on buses, or forbidding certain races to go into shops.”