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A Right-Wing Italian Mayor Is Introducing An "Anti-Kebab" Law

The city of Padua has announced a bill that will demand new takeaways sell 60% local produce.

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The right-wing administration of the northern Italian city of Padua has brought in a bill intended to clamp down on the number of kebab shops in the city.

The bill was described by an official as part of a series of "anti-kebab" measures that would "help the city defend high quality produce ... and the city's cultural and historic heritage".

It demands that 60% of all takeaway food sold in a restaurant, bar, or shop must be from the wider Veneto region.

It is not the first time that the city's Northern League mayor, Massimo Bitonci, has found himself at odds with kebabs.

Last year the city introduced a curfew targeting kebab shops and other takeaways operating near the city's main train station.

In 2011, as mayor of nearby town Cittadella, Bitonci banned kebabs and other "non-traditional foods" on the basis that the "food is certainly not part of our tradition and of our identity", the mayor said at the time.

The new rules would apply to all new establishments that want to open in the city centre. The bill defines as local produce all that in every aspect is produced and distributed in the Veneto region. The text of the bill states that its aim is to safeguard the cultural, historic, artistic and environmental characteristics and image of the city.

Any new business that wishes to be exempt from the new rules would need to put in a special application to the city, which would be evaluated by the local government on a case-by-case basis.

Padua is not the first Italian city to introduce legislation favouring local produce. Earlier this year, Florence's centre-left government brought in a law under which 70% of all food sold in the city's historic centre, which is a Unesco cultural heritage site, must be local or from the Tuscan region. In Florence too, exemptions can be made for "quality projects".

Alberto Nardelli is Europe editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alberto Nardelli at

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