Wiping the walls clean,

Italy proposes tougher penalties for graffiti

Editorial Staff
November 13, 2008

Italy's majority government has launched another national crusade aimed at public decorum. This time, ministers have targeted graffiti writers, claiming that tougher sanctions await those who intentionally mark public and private buildings and structures.


The tough anti-graffiti sanctions will be among amendments to the controversial security package passed earlier this year and expected to get swift parliamentary approval on November 11. Leaving graffiti will carry a criminal charge resulting in jail terms of six months to two years, and fines from 1,000 to 3,000 euro. Those caught in the act and subsequently found guilty will assume the costs of cleaning graffiti from the property, whether public or private.


In a rare accord, both majority leaders and members of the opposition agreed on the stricter sanctions against graffiti. Centre-right politician Giorgio Jannone maintains that the country's artistic and architectural jewels need to be safeguarded against such ‘flagrant and vulgar acts of vandalism; graffiti is an act of vandalism that strikes in an insidious manner in which the culprits are hardly ever caught in the act'.


The latest amendments also include tougher measures against convicted mobsters, a national census of the homeless and a points-system and language test for immigrants who request residency in Italy.

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