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Rome mayor: Cash-short city risks shut down soon

Published: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 11:31 a.m. CDT

ROME — Rome's mayor says the Italian capital next week risks a shutdown of mass transit, trash collection and other city services unless Parliament quickly frees up funds.

Mayor Ignazio Marino stressed on Thursday he's not seeking a bailout. The 320 million euros ($440 million) blocked in Parliament are Roman taxpayer money that the national government was supposed to give back to the city by Feb. 28.

But Parliament is suffering gridlock as opposition lawmakers use stalling tactics to protest that Italy last week got another premier who wasn't elected.

Romans are caught in the middle. Marino says if the funds don't arrive, city buses won't have fuel, trash collection will halt, day-care and other public services will close.

Said Marino: "I can't blow on buses to make them go."

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