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Italy's New Government Cracks Down On Illegal Raves
Christian Eede , November 7th, 2022 10:51

A three-day-long Halloween party was the catalyst for a quickly-passed new set of legislation

Italy's new far-right-leaning government, led by Giorgia Meloni, has passed new legislation to crack down on illegal raves.

The new legislation, which will punish organisers and promoters of illegal raves with jail terms ranging from three to six years, has brought widespread criticism in Italy. The catalyst for the new legislation, which was passed swiftly this month, was a three-day illegal Halloween party in Modena.

Promoters and organisers of such parties can also expect to face fines ranging from €1,000 to €10,000 if prosecuted under the new law. Penalties for those who participate in illegal raves, described in the legislation as an "invasion", have not been detailed and are expected to be less severe.

The new law will apply to gatherings of more than 50 people, who "arbitrarily invade other people's land or buildings." The terms of the legislation have sparked fears from opposition figures and critics that it could give power to police and local authorities to crack down on peaceful protests.

Brothers of Italy, the party that Meloni leads, campaigned on a policy of cracking down on illegal raves when it came out of the country's election earlier this year as the biggest party. The organisation, which has ultranationalist roots, is currently in coalition with another far-right party, The League.

During her first press conference as Italy's prime minister last month, Meloni mentioned a six-day-long rave in the Viterbo area that took place in Lazio last summer. One person died during the event. 14 people are currently under investigation after the illegal Halloween rave on the outskirts of Modena that attracted more than 3,000 people.

Speaking about the proposed new rules on illegal raves during her press conference last month, Meloni said: "With the rave rules we are no different from any other European nation. When there was the famous Viterbo rave, it struck me that thousands of the people who arrived in Italy to wreak havoc had come from all over Europe because the impression of Italy in recent years has been one of laxity in terms of respecting rules. Now Italy is no longer the nation in which one can commit a crime; there are rules and they are being enforced."