Nigerian Man In Italy Cleared Of Fine For Sweeping Street Without Permission
A local council in northern Italy has cancelled a fine imposed on a Nigerian migrant for sweeping streets without permission. Police withdrew the fine after it drew complaints from residents and prompted an online appeal.
The unemployed 29-year-old, named Monday, had decided to clean streets in the Venice suburb of Mestre instead of begging passersby for money, according to BBC report.
The Nigerian, Monday initially received a €350 ($383; £309) penalty. But protests led officials to withdraw it.
The fine also prompted an online appeal to raise money to pay it. “I would like to integrate myself honestly in your society without asking for alms,” he wrote on a cardboard sign, displayed nearby while he swept. “I will keep your street clean and ask only a contribution to my work.” In a Facebook post, Matteo D’Angelo who started the online appeal said the migrant had swept up “leaves that block the drains every time it rains, cigarette butts and all the rubbish that we civilised citizens throw on the ground.
“Woe betides a poor chap who tries to integrate himself,” he added. Italy opens hotline for citizens stranded amid Thomas Cook collapse. Monday’s actions reportedly drew police attention after complaints from residents.
But the fine was withdrawn after police received four phone calls from other local residents who defended him. According to BBC, authorities said the fine had been given by officers who were new and inexperienced. Immigration continues to be a controversial issue in Italy, where thousands of migrants have arrived in recent years.
Last week, Italy and France called for a new system to automatically redistribute migrants across the European Union.