Gondoliers risk losing licenses for fleecing tourists

Footage showed passengers getting ripped off in Venice

Gondoliers risk losing licenses for fleecing tourists

Venice, February 13 - A top Italian consumer group has called for dishonest gondoliers to be stripped of their licenses for fleecing tourists at above-market rates. "Bland measures and fines are not enough," said Codacons. "Those who have ripped off trusting tourists need to be punished by never getting their permits back". The group spoke out after Italian TV program Striscia la Notizia caught some gondoliers on tape demanding exorbitant prices from Carnival tourists, and others ending the trip after only a few minutes. Codacons called on the city of Venice to open an investigation. Venice tourism councilor Roberto Panciera called the behavior of the filmed gondoliers "shameful to the profession and the city of Venice," and called on the local gondolier authority Ente Gondola to impose suspensions and fines. Ente Gondola President Nicola Falconi said he was "dismayed" by the program's findings and said he was organizing an outside disciplinary committee. "The committee has the power to impose heavy sanctions, temporary suspensions and to permanently strip licenses," he said.

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