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Moratti v The Prostitutes

Letizia Moratti, for those not in the know, is the Mayor of Milan, Italy, and she’s at war.  Yes, she’s battling the city’s prostitution problem.

In Milan, aside from the dog poo, and the graffiti, once of the first things I noticed when I first came to Milan many moons ago was the number of sex workers, or ‘sex professionals’ as some like to be known, on the city’s streets.  To say that the prostitution was overt would be something of an understatement.

At night time you would often drive down a main street and find it lined with the ladies and part ladies plying their trade.  No longer though.  Mayor Moratti is clamping down on the problem, finally.  So, what has Milan’s first lady done?

Fleshy Fines

Now, both clients and sex workers in Milan receive a €500 fine.  The police, for the moment, are enforcing the new rules, and there was a little story in one of the freebie newspapers yesterday about an accountant who had driven semi-naked into Milan from one the city’s outlying villages in search of pleasures of the flesh.  Said 39 year old money manager probably told his wife/mum that he was ‘Just popping out for a bit’…!

Although this frustrated chap found the pleasures he was seeking, he also discovered that a times pleasure is accompanied by pain, as he was caught well and truly in the act by police officers who noticed the steamy windows of his car.

Actually, the incident took place not five minutes walk from my house in Milan.  Both he and the transexual who was, er, enteraining him, were slapped with a Moratti inspired €500 fine, and the city’s anti-prostitution drive added €1000 to its fighting fund.  Not bad.  Indeed, it is probable that the fines being levied on those providing services and their clients are paying the salaries of many of Milan’s police officers, who make around €1,300 a month (for 13 or 14 months – yes, I know there are only 12 months in a year, but this is Italy!).

Positive Effects

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The crack down is having an effect to which I can bear testament.  You see I often take our wee dog out for a stroll at around 11 or so in the evening, and as a matter of interest I sometimes head for street near us which was lined with the members of this particular service sector, one every 100 yards or so.  Not any longer though.  Fear of fines has, on the face of it, cleaned up the streets, much to the satisfaction of those formerly living with these particular traders just about on their doorsteps.

Milan’s entrepreneurs of the flesh have, though, managed to find a way round the Moratti measures, and have moved the plying of their trade online.  A series of web sites have sprung up charging between 200 and 1000 Euros a month to those sex workers who wish to avail themselves of online publicity.  Milanese entrepreneurs not of the flesh have been doing very will nicely out of this somewhat sordid online business.  There was even an advertising agency which specialised in this kind of fleshy publicity, according to an article in Il Resto Del Carlino (article in Italian).

Milan’s Prostitutes Are Revolting

Napoletano and Letizia Moratti

Representatives of Milan’s sex professionals are not too happy with Moratti’s measures, and have pointed out that workers will move off the streets and into their homes.  This means that some lucky, not, apartment occupiers are likely to be faced with lewd sounds emanating from the flat next door, often well into the night.  This, of course, will lead to further complaints.  Sounds like someone needs to set up a good few old fashioned brothels seeing as the total elimination of this issue is likely to be nigh on impossible.  Demand does seem to be high.

Milan Brushes Up its Image

Still, Milan, thanks to a few Moratti initiatives, is cleaning up its act.

The graffiti is fading away, slowly.  Dog poo is still evident though, even if more people seem to be scooping up the poop.  Which leaves the sex pros, which were dragging down the image of Italy’s busy financial and business centre.  The arrival of the Expo in 2015 in Milan appears to have provoked more than a little navel gazing on the part of Milan’s ruling junta, or so it would appear.

This resident is not complaining, even if he would be more than happy if the noisy night club right across his  courtyard were shut down permanently.  But that is another story…

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