Town scraps free park­ing for moth­ers who had to be mar­ried

The Daily Telegraph - - World News - By John Phillips in Rome

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.”

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