ROME, Oct 31 (Reuters) – (This story from October 31 has been reposted to correct wording of law and order in paragraph 4)
Italy’s new right-wing government announced on Monday it would crack down on unlicensed rave parties, with organizers facing prison sentences of up to six years for hosting such events.
The move followed a weekend Halloween party at a disused warehouse near the northern city of Modena that drew more than 1,000 people from Italy and abroad, and sparked complaints about noise and its impact on traffic in the area.
“We have shown that the state will not turn a blind eye and will not act in the face of a breach of the law,” Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni told a press conference, saying Italy needed to strengthen the rules to align with its European neighbours. .
Meloni, whose government came to power in October pledging to be tough on law and order, mentioned a bigger rave last year in the city of Viterbo in which two deaths were reported and an area of natural beauty has been damaged.
“The impression that the Italian state has given in recent years is one of laxity in respecting the rules and the law,” she said.
According to the proposals approved by his government, those responsible for these parties could in future incur between three and six years in prison and would have the equipment used in the raves confiscated.
The new offense would apply to unauthorized gatherings of at least 50 people that pose a risk to public health, safety or order, Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi told a news conference.
The party in Modena, which was due to run until Tuesday, ended peacefully at lunchtime on Monday when revelers agreed with police gathered at the site to turn off the music and go home.
“Happy Halloween to everyone except those from half of Europe who came to wreak havoc in Modena, Italy with an illegal rave party,” League party leader Matteo Salvini tweeted.
The League is part of Meloni’s coalition, which extends to his far-right Brothers of Italy party and the conservative Forza Italia party of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
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Report by Angelo Amante; Written by Keith Weir; Editing by Alvise Armellini and Alison Williams
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