While Russian President Vladimir Putin only visits the Eternal City once every few years, his latest one is already reported to have helped locals breathe a sigh of relief regarding one of their major headaches.
Putin is reputed to run a tight ship, but who knew he had any say over such details as trash collection in Rome? Jokes, and accusations of Putin’s influence on Italy’s government aside, the city likely just wanted to put its best, least garbage infested, face forward ahead of a powerful foreign leader’s visit.
The mounds of trash accumulating on Rome’s streets got so bad in the summer heat that it was declared a public health hazard.
This is likely why the clean streets that greeted Putin upon his arrival got some Italian politicians thinking of creative solutions to the garbage crisis.
Citing the president’s visit, Chamber of Deputies spokeswoman Mara Carfagna, for instance, jokingly noted that with 196 sovereign states in the world, a busy schedule of visits from world leaders might motivate the government to get its garbage cleaned up just about every other day.
Some, however, have argued that the government may have actually just tucked the garbage away out of sight.
Putin is in town for an audience with the Pope and Italian leaders, during his first visit to Italy in four years. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte noted that he had been very warmly received when he visited Moscow last October, and was happy to be “granted with an opportunity to pay President Putin back with the same hospitality.”
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