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Rome seeks migrant moratorium, warns of social tensions

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Rome's populist mayor has called for a moratorium on new migrants arriving in the city, warning that setting up additional reception centers risked sparking explosive social tensions in the capital.

In the most significant challenge yet to the center-left Italian government's policy of distributing across the country the thousands of migrants arriving at southern ports, Virginia Raggi said it was "time to listen to the citizens of Rome."

"We cannot permit the creation of more social tensions," Raggi, a member of the populist Five Star Movement, wrote on her Facebook page.

"That is why I am saying it is impossible, risky even, to think about creating any new reception structures."

Her appeal is likely to fall on deaf ears. The ministry is asking all Italian municipalities to expand their reception facilities for the expected arrival of around 250,000 migrants over the course of 2017, compared with 181,436 last year.



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