City Mayors reports news from and for towns and cities in Europe

About us

Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa |

News & Analysis
from cities in Europe

NEWS SECTIONS: World news | Election news | News from Europe | News from North America | News from Latin America | News from Asia and Australia | News from Africa | Urban events | NEWS SPECIALS: The 2011 London riots | The 2010 Love Parade tragedy | Latest news story |

Greek mayors accuse
government of an
illegal seizure of funds

Athens, 25 April 2015:
The Greek parliament yesterday approved a government decree that will force local authorities and other public institutions such hospitals and universities to transfer any financial reserves to the country’s central bank. The decree, which was passed by 156 to 104 votes, was described as unconstitutional by opposition parliamentarians. Mayors of some of Greek’s largest cities spoke of an illegal seizure of municipal funds by the government. George Kaminis, the Mayor of Athens, said the government had dealt a blow to the independence of local government.

Under the terms of the decree, municipalities and other public bodies will be forced to ‘invest’ cash not needed for 15 days in the central bank’s ‘common fund’. The fund, which finances state, civil servants salaries and payments to international creditors, is thought to be almost exhausted. According to IMF sources, Greece needs €1.7 billion to meet this month’s salaries, state pensions and payments to international creditors. Estimates how much money the decree could raise vary from €500 million to €2.5 billion.

At a recent meeting in Vienna, George Kaminis told fellow EU mayors that, if the decree was enforced, it would threaten social cohesion and urban development. George Patoulis, the leader of the Greek union of local authorities, accused the government of acting like a dictatorship. He added that the union would appeal against the decree with the council of state.

The government’s parliamentary spokesman defended the legislation saying that municipalities would receive a better rate of interest than what they received from their banks. Yesterday, there were reports that some local authorities were ready to defy the government while others wanted to study the details of the decree before releasing any money.

Uber prepared to fight
Germany, France and
Spain in Brussels

Brussels, 6 April 2015:
Claiming that it was a technology company that supplies transportation software and NOT a transporter of people, Uber, the California-based start-up, has filed complaints against Germany, Spain and France with the European Commission. Courts in all three countries have or are expected to issue national bans on Uber’s basic car sharing service UberPop (UberX). The courts did not accept the company’s arguments that drivers using its software operated in a strictly private capacity, by pointing out that payments are handled through the company and not by the drivers and that Uber takes a 20 per cent cut of each fare.

Uber argued in its submission to the European Commission that Germany, France and Spain acted contrary to European legislation that requires member states to promote trade. An Uber spokesman said that this was supposed to be a single market but the reality was that the company was treated differently in different countries and even within individual countries.

Although Uber’s services are legal in the UK, London’s mayor Boris Johnson expressed some sympathy with the views of his city’s black-cab drivers who say that they have the sole right to use taxi meters in London. “The question courts will have to decide is whether smart phones calculating fares based on distance and time are equivalent to taxi meters.”

In a boost for Uber, the Commission told the Financial Times that it supported the development of ‘new and innovative mobility services’. According to the newspaper, the European Transport Commissioner wrote to the chairman of the European Parliament’s transport committee, suggesting that it should be considered whether ride-sharing services ought to be regulated Europe-wide rather than at national level.

Uber Technoligies Inc, which is the world’s second highest-rated start-up, has faced opposition across the world. In Australia, the Queensland state government reminded the company that it must meet relevant transport legislation, while in Canada Quebec’s transport ministry declared Uber illegal and warned drivers that they risk confiscation of their cars.

Last year, the Mayor of Seoul (South Korea) said that his administration would seek a ban of Uber because South Korean law prohibited fee-paying transport services that use unregistered private or rented vehicles. The company has announced last month that it would suspend its UberPop (UberX) services in the country. Thailand has also declared Uber illegal because its drivers and their cars were not licensed.

Uber, which has recently been valued at more than $40 billion, is thought to operate in 250 cities in some 55 countries. Potential passengers can connect with Uber drivers using smart phone apps.

Italian mayors face
constant intimidation
by organised crime

Palermo, 4 March 2015:
Being an Italian mayor is not a job for the fainthearted. An enquiry set up by the Italian Senate has found that between January 2013 and May of last year almost 1,300 mayors and other local politicians reported intimidation by organised crime syndicates but, as many contacts between the mafia and local government remain unreported, the actual number of threats is probably considerably higher. A member of the Senate enquiry team reported that during the recent recession local government has come under increasing pressure to award contracts to companies with links to the mafia. “The economic downturn has hit the construction industry hardest, a business sector where organised crime is well established.”

The public prosecutors office in Milan has highlighted the situation in Fino Mornasco, a community of less than 10,000 people, where the mayor and members of his administration received 17 threats, including burnt out cars and cut tyres. The town’s mayor, Giuseppe Napoli, said while he had no doubt who was behind the attacks, the police lacked the resources to catch the perpetrators or identify their bosses. Mayor Napoli added it was not pleasant to know that people who mean to harm you know where you live. “So far they have only resorted to threats and criminal damage but I fear sooner or later somebody may get hurt or even killed.”

Italy’s centre-left government has now promised towns and cities additional support to fight organised crime. A spokesman for the interior ministry said that local communities faced the greatest threat from the mafia and deserved the full support of all state authorities.

Anti-mafia campaigners have also urged the government to provide greater support grass root campaigns like Addiopizzo (Goodby extortion money). The movement was set up in 2004 by five graduates who wanted to break the stranglehold the Mafia had on the Palermo economy. They peppered the city with stickers which read that people who pay extortion money (pizzo) were people without dignity. By 2007, 210 businesses had signed up and more than 10,000 residents promised to buy only from businesses that were on the pizzo-free list.

According to a report by the University of Palermo, the mafia extorts some €160 million from shops and businesses in the Palermo region. It is also estimated that across Sicily, some 80 per cent of businesses pay extortion money. According to the university, the pizzo averages €457 (640 dollars) a month for retail traders and €578 for hotels and restaurants. Construction companies are often asked to pay more than €2,000.

Europe hits back
at US claims of
Muslim no-go zones

London, 16 February 2015:
Europe has ridiculed the suggestions by some American politicians and news presenters that parts of European cities with large Muslim populations had become no-go areas. Mentioned were cities like Birmingham, London, Paris and Marseille. While there are some European cities where the percentage of Muslim residents exceeds 20 per cent of the population there is no evidence of zones that are outside state control. Of course, the cultural and commercial activities of Muslim newcomers often take place in certain parts of cities but Muslims are behaving exactly like Chinese, Jewish and other immigrants did before them. The restaurants and shops of New York’s Chinatown, London’s Golders Green or Berlin’s Kreuzberg welcome and rely on visitors and customers from all other parts of the cities.

Last month, Steve Emerson, a so-called terrorism expert employed by the US news channel Fox, claimed that in some areas in cities like Paris, Marseille or Birmingham Muslims were in complete control. "In Britain, it's not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don't go in," he said. Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron called the Fox commentator a complete idiot.

Steve Emerson was not the only high-profile American who recently made unfounded claims about no-go areas in Britain and Europe. In a speech in London, Louisiana Governor and presidential hopeful Bobby Jindal warned that some European countries had allowed Muslims to establish autonomous neighbourhoods in cities where they govern by a harsh version of Islamic law. When asked by journalists to name specific examples, the governor declined but said he had heard from folks in London that there were neighbourhoods where women don’t feel comfortable going in without veils.

On his recent visit to the USA, London’s Conservative mayor Boris Johnson said the Republican governor from Louisiana was talking complete nonsense. The mayor said he would like to give Jindal a few lessons on the jumbled-up ethnic mix in the British capital. "There are no no-go zones,” Boris Johnson asserted and offered to take the governor to any area in London he thought were no-go zones.

In Paris, the city council has given Mayor Anne Hidalgo the go-ahead to sue Fox News over its claims that Paris had Islamic neighbourhoods governed by Shariah law which non-Muslims are forbidden to enter and police avoid going to. "I will not accept insults against our city and its people. What's in question here is not fun or a bad joke, it's lies," the mayor said. Fox News, which has apologised for factual errors in its reporting, countered that any decision by the City of Paris to bring legal proceedings against a US news organisation was antithetical to free speech.

The original assertions by Fox News won support from Nigel Farage, leader of the rightist UK Independence Party. He told The Daily Telegraph newspaper that Paris’ decision to sue Fox News was incomprehensible. He claimed that Britain and Europe have suffered from moral cowardice and allowed big ghettos to develop.

The US-based Pew Research Center found that in 2010 the number of Muslims in Europe, excluding Turkey but including countries like Albania and Kosovo, totalled 44 million or six per cent of the European population. The number of Muslims in European Union countries was approximately 19 million or 3.8 per cent of the EU population.

But Muslims in Europe are not a homogeneous group. The majority of Muslims originate from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey or the Maghreb countries of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia and, more recently, from the war-torn Middle East. They left their homelands for a great variety of reasons including political and cultural persecution, economic aspiration, security concerns and as a consequence of Britain’s withdrawal from India and Pakistan after World War II and France’s decision to grant independence to its North African territories during the 1950s (Morocco and Tunisia) and 1960s (Algeria).

European cities with large Muslim populations*
Muslim population
as % of total
Blackburn UK
Brussels Belgium
Marseille France
Rotterdam Netherlands
Bradford UK
Luton UK
Antwerp Netherland
Birmingham UK
Stockholm Sweden
Malmö Sweden
Leicester UK
Manchester UK
Paris France
The Hague Netherlands
London UK
Cologne Germany
Vienna Austria
Copenhagen Denmark
Berlin Germany
Antwerp Belgium
*Please note: The above figures were collected by different research organisations at different times using different methods. They are therefore not strictly comparable.

Municipal treasurers
unprepared for sudden
strength of Swiss franc

Zurich, 18 January 2015:
Last week’s unexpected decision by the Swiss National Bank to abandon the franc’s fixed link of Sfr1.20 to one euro has sent shockwaves through the treasury departments of many local and regional authorities in Europe. First indications are that municipalities in Germany, France and Austria, which took out loans denominated in Swiss francs, will face considerably higher repayment costs. Prior to the 2008 financial crisis, Swiss banks and other European financial institutions offered long-term franc-loans at interest rates that were much lower than those available in euros. At a time when the exchange rate between the euro and the Swiss franc was relatively stable, many local government treasurers believed the financial packages offered were too good to miss. Since then the value of the euro has dropped from an average of Sfr1.50 to almost parity.

Recent research by Reuters showed that French communities owed some five billion euros linked to the Swiss franc. Since the Swiss decision to allow the country’s currency to free-float, this debt has nominally increased by some 24 per cent. Reuters was told that the euro’s drop had also led to an ‘explosion’ of interest rates. “In some cases interest rates have doubled and tripled.”

The London-based Guardian newspaper reported in 2011 that Saint-Tropez, on the French Riveria, took out a 20-year loan with an interest rate, which was initially fixed at four cent but has been pegged to the value of the Swiss franc since 2012. With the franc at its present value, the interest on the loan could be as high as 30 per cent.

Austria’s capital Vienna also took out a Swiss-franc denominated loan before the financial upheaval in 2008. At the end of 2014, when one euro was worth Sfr1.20, the value of the debt was estimated to be €1.66 billion. Now with an exchange rate of virtually one to one, the size of the debt has increased by some €300 million. Federal states in Austria, which also face considerable losses, include Salzburg, Kärnten and Tirol.

In North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany’s largest state, some 29 local authorities are thought to have taken out loans linked to the Swiss franc. Gladbeck, a town of some 74,000 people has outstanding debts of 85 million francs or more than 1,000 francs per citizen. Mayor Ulrich Roland has warned that loan repayments are bound to increase dramatically.

The city of Essen, also in North-Rhine Westphalia, missed an opportunity to repay its 450-million Swiss franc loan last year, which it could have done for €374 million. Today, the city treasurer would have to find an additional €70 million but Lars Martin Klieve remains stoic. The euro will recover, he believes. In the meantime, the treasurers of Konstanz and Säckingen – both cities are on the border with Switzerland – have warned that municipal charges may have to go up if the strength of the Swiss franc continues.

Rome to bid for 2024
Olympics amidst
corruption and recession

Rome, 29 December 2014:
Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said that Rome would go ahead with its bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics despite of a massive corruption investigation in the country’s capital city. Earlier this month, the police arrested some 40 people after it had uncovered a criminal network in Rome, dubbed Mafia Capitale. The authorities also placed more than 100 people, including Rome’s former mayor Gianni Alemanno, under investigation. The charges include extortion, corruption, fraud, money laundering and embezzlement.

The police alleged that criminal gangs, whose members include Massimo Carminati, a notorious criminal who was given a 10-year prison sentence in 1998, were awarded municipal contracts after bribing and threatening city officials. In clandestine recordings gang members are heard to tell municipal employees that they faced dire consequences unless work was given to criminal front companies. “You need us to dig ditches? Erect hoardings?” Fine, we’ll do it. If I then find out that someone else did it - then it becomes something unpleasant.”

Gianni Alemanno, who was Mayor of Rome from 2008 until June 2013 and one of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi closest political allies, has denied any wrongdoing despite the authorities saying that a powerful criminal network involving mafia-style gang members, senior politicians and public managers had infiltrated City Hall. The police also alleged that the network had close links with neo-fascist groups. Until the accusations surfaced, Alemanno was a senior figure in the Brothers of Italy party, which traces its origins to Mussolini’s fascism.

Rome’s current centre-left mayor has ordered a review of all city contracts.

The Italian Prime Minister’s announcement that Rome would go ahead with its bid to host the 2014 Olympics has been met with derision and criticism. Politicians from the left and right called the plan madness. “The investigations into Rome and the mafia are ongoing and now we want to hand them the Olympics on a plate?” asked Matteo Salvini, leader of the Northern League. Rome was a candidate for the 2020 Olympics but the bid was dropped by the then Prime Minister Mario Monti, who said it would have been an unacceptable drain on public resources.

Italy, which is currently experiencing its worst recession since World War II, has, according to a report by the European Commission, more incidents of corruption than any other EU member country.

Anti-corruption mayor
wins Romanian
presidential election

Bucharest, 16 November 2014:
One of Romania’s most popular mayors won yesterday’s presidential elections much more comfortably than even exit polls had predicted. Klaus Iohannis, an ethnic German, defeated the country’s Prime Minister by 55 to 45 per cent in the run-off after having trailed his opponent by ten percentage points in the first round of voting. The president-elect, who has been mayor of the city of Sibiu (Hermannstadt) since 2000, succeeded by mobilising young voters and was strongly supported by the Romanian diaspora in Italy, Germany and Britain.

Klaus Iohannis' political rise can be attributed to the good reputation that has followed him for years. As mayor of Sibiu, he has already been re-elected four times, each time with a comfortable majority of 70 to 80 per cent. The former physics teacher is valued for how he fundamentally reformed and renovated the partially dilapidated medieval city. In 2007, Sibiu was recognised as one of the best examples of European integration: the year of Romania's ascension to the European Union, the city was chosen - along with Luxembourg - as European Capital of Culture.

The region is also booming economically. Hundreds of foreign investors, mainly from Germany and Austria, have settled there and helped to ensure that unemployment has trended towards zero. To compare: The overall unemployment rate in Romania, according to Eurostat, comes in at just over seven per cent.

In a country where corruption at all level of politics is rife, the Klaus Iohannis is highly regarded for his honesty and integrity. He promised that as President he would lead the political, moral, and economic regeneration of his country. "I am running because I wish to establish a new kind of politics on our country. Less show, less noise, and more concrete solutions for citizens, for Romania," he said in an interview before the election.

In Romania, the President shares power with the Prime Minister and Parliament. He is ultimately responsible for foreign policy and defence and also oversees the appointment of top state prosecutors and the heads of the intelligence services.

Mayor invites architects
from across the world
to reinvent Paris

Paris, 9 November 2014:
Barely a week after the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Europe’s most exciting new museum this century, opened in Paris’ Bois de Boulogne, Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced an architectural competition aiming to create new landmarks at 23 sites across the city. Paris will ask internationally renowned architects to produce ideas that will prefigure what the French capital might be like in the future. The Mayor said that each team would be asked to present concepts on how to bring added vitality to exceptional Parisian sites. The winners will then be able to purchase or rent the sites to carry out their projects while simultaneously conducting an urban experiment on an unparalleled scale.

When launching the project, Mayor Hidalgo told some 200 architects and developers that there was no other city in the world that has dared to do what we are doing today. “A city like Paris must be able to reinvent itself at every moment in order to meet the many challenges facing it. Particularly in terms of housing and everything relating to density, desegregation, energy and resilience. It is important in today's world to find new collective ways of working that will give shape to the future metropolis,” she detailed.

The mayor urged architects to be bold. “Surprise us by offering Parisians a new vision of their city, revealing new quarters with a wealth of possibilities.”

Jean-Louis Missika, the city’s deputy mayor, went into further detail. “The ‘Reinventing Paris’ call for projects should enable urban professionals of many disciplines to experiment and give concrete shape to the range of innovations that Paris needs. Far from limiting themselves merely to architectural audacity, their projects can address innovation in all its dimensions. The objective is not to innovate on all fronts but to seek out, for each site, the most pertinent type of innovation and reveal cutting-edge solutions.”

Spanish authorities arrest
51 suspected of local
government corruption

Madrid, 28 October 2014:
Spanish police have arrested 51 people in connection with one of the country’s most widespread operations against corruption in local government. A spokesman for Spain’s public prosecutor said the collusion between local councillors and civil servants with builders and utility companies as well as the corruption of middle-men and key companies, had helped them to secure contracts worth around €250 million (US$320m) in the last two years alone.

Spanish newspapers reported that those arrested included the former Popular Party senator and deputy first minister of Madrid, Francisco Granados, the Popular Party chairman of the province of León, Marcos Martínez, and the mayors of six towns in Greater Madrid, including Valdemoro, Parla, Collado Villalba, Torrejón de Velasco, Casarrubielos and Serranillos.

Most of the arrested politicians belong to Spain’s governing centre-right Popular Party (PP) but a former Socialist Party (PSE) mayor of the south-eastern city of Cartagena was also detained.

The 51 suspects will be charged with money laundering, falsifying documents, tax crimes, bribery, influence peddling, misuse of funds, misconduct in public office, revealing secrets, undertaking negotiations prohibited to civil servants, administrative fraud and criminal organisation. Banks have been ordered to block 400 accounts. The public prosecutor also ordered the seizure of more than 250 properties and 30 luxury motorcars. His office said that elected local government officials and civil servants awarded contracts to construction companies and other businesses in exchange for backhanders.

Operation Punic is ongoing but comes nine months after Swiss authorities tipped off their Spanish counterparts in January. Francisco Granados resigned as a PP senator in February 2014 after the Spanish daily El Mundo uncovered the existence of a €1.5 million Swiss bank account in his name.

In April, an investigation by The Spain Report found that Spanish courts were investigating some 1,660 political and economic cases.

English cities retain less
of local tax product than
many foreign competitors

London, 4 August 2014:
Last week England’s eight biggest cities outside London called on the British government to grant them greater freedom to control their own destinies. The leaders of Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield claimed that transferring powers from central to local government would create 1.16 million new jobs and add £222 billion (US$375bn) to the national economy by 2030.

Joe Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool, said that he knew his city better than anyone in Whitehall (London’s government district). “If Liverpool was able to retain more of the taxes it raises we could use them to generate the right skills to enable people to get jobs, attract more investment and give more support to business. At the moment 95 per cent of taxes raised in Liverpool are sent to the government whereas cities in Germany, Sweden, Canada and the US keep up to 10 times more. We need more decentralisation if we are to compete globally," the mayor maintained.

Mayor Anderson was correct when he asserted that in the UK local tax income as a percentage of total tax revenue was woefully low but it is by no means the lowest amongst EU or OECD member countries. According to the Paris-based OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), local tax proceeds in the UK account for just under five per cent of total tax revenue, while it was more than 15 per cent in the US and 13 and eight per cent in France and Germany respectively. In Japan local taxes account for more than 25 per cent of total revenue, while in the Czech Republic, Greece and Mexico the corresponding figures are below two per cent.

Local tax revenue as percentage of total
general tax revenue in selected countries

Local tax
South Korea
New Zealand
Slovak Republic
Czech Republic
Source: OECD

English mayors’
use of Twitter
still in its infancy

London, 1 July 2014:
While most leading politicians insist that social media plays an important part in their efforts to communicate with voters, Britain’s elected mayors only make half-hearted use of sites such as Twitter. Only the British capital’s mayor Boris Johnson can claim that a sizeable proportion of Londoners follows his tweets, even though many of his 900,000 plus followers are probably admirers from across the country and indeed the world. Of England’s 16 elected mayors, eleven maintain personal Twitter accounts to respond to and address their fellow citizens. With a following of 934,000, London’s Boris Johnson potentially reaches more than eleven per cent of residents while, with a reach-score of 4.5 per cent, Bristol Mayor George Ferguson is distant second to his colleague in London.

Boris Johnson started tweeting almost immediately after he defeated Ken Livingstone in May 2008. Other mayors like Bristol’s George Ferguson or Liverpool’s Joe Anderson signed up to Twitter more recently. The Mayor of Mansfield’s love for Twitter only lasted from March to August 2011.

With Twitter’s unspoken etiquette of ‘I follow you and then you follow me’, one of the reasons for Boris Johnson’s success in attracting followers is the large number of individuals and organisations (3,871) he proclaims to follow. Other mayors, with the exception of Tower Hamlet’s Lutfur Rahman, all track less than one thousand Twitterers.

While English mayors with Twitter pages follow predominantly individuals and organisations with local connections, some are also keen to track the tweets of national and international people of prominence. Boris Johnson is a fan of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and also follows the tweets of the UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron as well as those of Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and actor Danny DeVito. Liverpool’s mayor follows Michael Bloomberg and Richard Branson on Twitter, while among the Twitter pages Bristol Mayor George Ferguson follows include those of J K Rowling, Arianne Huffington and Kevin Spacey.

English mayors on Twitter
On Twitter since
Population reach
Boris Johnson, London May 2008
George Ferguson. Bristol December 2011
Dave Hodgson, Bedford September 2009
Joe Anderson, Liverpool February 2012
Dorothy Thornhill, Watford July 2009
Lutfur Rahman, Tower Hamlets December 2010
Ros Jones, Doncaster n/a
Ian Stewart, Salford March 2012
Tony Egginton, Mansfield March 2011
Steve Bullock, Lewisham April 2009
Norma Redfearn, North Tyneside February 2012
Research: 30 June 2014

London’s Boris Johnson follows on Twitter:
Matteo Renzi, Italian Prime Minister
Bertrand Delanoe, Former Mayor of Paris
Raymond Blank, Celebrity chef
Mo Farah, Olympic Gold medal winner
David Cameron, UK Prime Minister
Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft
Brian Paddick, Former Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor
Rupert Murdoch, Media mogul
David Miliband, Former UK foreign minister
Danny DeVito, Actor
Alan Rusbridger, Editor of The Guardian newspaper
William Hague, UK Foreign Minister

Liverpool’s Joe Anderson follows on Twitter
Daniel Finkelstein, Political commentator
Vince Cable, UK Business Secretary
Edwina Currie, Former Tory minister
John Prescott, Former UK Deputy Prime Minister
Kenneth Dalglish, Football manager
Mike Bloomberg, Former Mayor of New York
Alastair Campbell, Former spokesman for Tony Blair
George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol
Tom Menino, Former Mayor of Boston
George Osborne, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister)
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party
David Cameron, UK Prime Minister
Richard Branson, Entrepreneur

Bristol’s George Ferguson follows on Twitter
J K Rowling, Author of Harry Potter
Paddy Ashdown, Former leader of the Liberal Democrats
Arianna Huffington, Founder of the Huffington Post
Jamie Oliver, Celebrity chef
Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool
Nick Clegg, UK Deputy Prime Minister
Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party
David Cameron, UK Prime Minister
John Prescott, Former UK Deputy Prime Minister
Rupert Murdoch, Media mogul
Kevin Spacey, Actor
Caroline Lucas, Britain’s only Green MP
Richard Branson, Entrepreneur

World Mayor 2014
The results of World Mayor 2014 were announced on 3 February 2015

Greek mayors accuse government of an illegal seizure of funds

Uber prepared to fight Germany, France and Spain in Brussels

Italian mayors face constant intimidation by organised crime

Europe hits back at US claims of Muslim no-go zones
(Photo: East London is home to a thriving Bangladeshi community)

Municipal treasurers unprepared for sudden strength of Swiss franc

Rome to bid for 2024 Olympics amidst corruption and recession

Anti-corruption mayor wins Romanian presidential election

Mayor invites architects from across the world to reinvent Paris
(Photo: The Louis Vuitton Museum in Paris)

Spanish authorities arrest 51 suspected of local government corruption

English cities retain less of local tax product than many foreign competitors

English mayors’ use of Twitter still in its infancy