Frankfurter Rundschau (Germany)
Bologna is no longer the poster child for leftist government, said Roman Arens in Frankfurt, Germany’s Frankfurter Rundschau. Its mayor may still be a socialist—no other party stands a chance in the left-wing university town—but he’s tougher on crime and illegal immigration than any neofascist from Forza Italia. Sergio Cofferati, long nicknamed “the Chinaman” because of his narrow eyes, has recently acquired another moniker: the “red sheriff.” His law-and-order tactics ape the “zero tolerance” model of Rudy Giuliani’s New York. First, the squeegee guys were banned. Then Gypsy camps were dismantled. And now, Cofferati is sending in the cops to boot deadbeat youths out of the graffiti-covered buildings they’ve been squatting in. His measures are hugely popular with local citizens, even if the other main political parties in town, the Greens and the Communists, are not on board. This willingness to buck politics and enforce the law is rapidly making him into “an Italian icon”—and someone to keep an eye on.
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