Rome: Italian Premier Matteo Renzi has attacked Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi’s decision not to back a bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games, saying the move had cost thousands of jobs and made a bad impression abroad.
“We have cut a bad figure internationally and lost thousands of jobs,” Renzi said late on Thursday.
Earlier on Thursday, Rome City Council officially withdrew its bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games after the Raggi said last week she opposed to the project on financial grounds.
At a packed media conference on September 21, Raggi produced figures on the debts that previous Olympic host cities have incurred, saying these showed the 2024 Games were unsustainable for Rome.
Renzi immediately slammed Raggi’s decision to withdraw Rome’s candidacy to hold the 2024 Olympics saying it showed she and her grassroots Five Star movement “had no clue how change things”.
Raggi, who was elected in a landslide victory in June, campaigned with the message that an Olympic bid was unsustainable for a city struggling to leave behind years of corruption and poor public services.
During her campaign, Raggi promised to fix Rome’s transport, garbage and corruption scandals and said the city needed to focus on everyday issues before taking on “extraordinary events” like the Olympics.