Rome, January 12 - Premier Paolo Gentiloni on Friday chided the 5-Star Movement (M5S) administration in Rome for allegedly not showing "the maximum efficiency" in coping with a string of woes - prompting the anti-establishment group to tell him he should stick to being premier and not campaign for his centre-left Democratic Party (PD) ahead of the March 4 general election. Gentiloni said that Mayor Virginia Raggi's M5S administration "has not shown maximum efficiency". He said "this city cannot simply be governed by facing a string of emergencies that emerge every week..with which even the most efficient administration would struggle. "And I don't think we are in a situation where we can have maximum efficiency". The government "is there for" Rome and the central government is working with the municipal administration despite "suspicions", Gentiloni said. "We are the government and we can only have a spirit of collaboration on Rome even though this time the help was greeted by suspicious reluctance," he said. He said the government "appreciates the effort to give the city a long-term approach and urges everyone to have for Rome the universal ambition that this city deserves". Rome is in the midst of a trash crisis, the latest in a string of woes to hit the administration led by Mayor Virginia Raggi. It has also been hit by appointments probes, poor public transport and urban blight. Raggi, a member of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), was elected in a landslide in June 2016 to become Rome's first woman mayor. In response to Gentiloni's perceived criticism, M5S Rome Council Whip Paolo Ferrara said the premier should stick to his job and not engage in the electoral campaign. Ferrara said on Facebook: "Gentiloni should stick to being premier, not (taking part in) the election campaign. "Their (Gentiloni's Democratic Party, PD) efficiency in governing is the 13 billion euros of debt (Raggi) inherited. "Gentiloni's statements are disgraceful." "The efficiency he talks about is by chance that shown in the past decades by PD governments? "The efficiency that led Rome to have 13 billion euros in debt? "The premier should stop waging an electoral campaign. "Indeed, he shouldn't waste time and should appoint a debt commissioner for Rome"
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