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18 Sep, 2015

Lombardy to block subsidy to hotels that take in refugees

18 Sep 2015 – Lombardy, (IINA) – Italian hotels which take in migrants will not be able to draw up to $28 million out of public subsidies over the next three years, the local administration has decided to apply this clause on Wednesday to all hotels in the northern region of Lombardy, DPA reported.

The controversial clause, sponsored by the Anti-migrant Northern League party and backed by other members of the ruling center-right coalition, was added to a bill supporting the local tourism industry approved by the regional assembly.

The clause says: hotels that made money in the past three years in any way other than hosting tourists will not be eligible for regional subsidies, except those forced to act otherwise by public authorities during natural disasters or other emergencies.

Lombardy Governor Roberto Maroni, former interior minister, was quoted saying that this is in order to provide public support to “entrepreneurs who take risks and promote real tourism”.

Throughout Italy, several hotels with empty rooms have agreed to take in refugees, whose accommodations are being paid for by the central government. According to the Northern League, this amounts to profiteering from the refugee crisis.