Codacons, one of Italy's top consumer group, has called for dishonest gondoliers to be stripped of their licenses for fleecing tourists at above-market rates stating that fines are not enough.
The debate started after TV program Striscia la Notizia showed passengers getting ripped off in Venice by gondoliers asking for absurd sums of money, for example a Russian couple was asked € 400.00 for a 40 minutes gondola ride.
Codacons called on the city of Venice to open an immediate investigation. Venice tourism councilor, Roberto Panciera, said the behavior of the filmed gondoliers brought shame upon the whole city of Venice and called on the local gondolier authority, the Ente Gondola, to impose suspensions and fines. In response to this, Ente Gondola President, Nicola Falconi, said he will set up an outside disciplinary committee with power to impose heavy sanctions, temporary suspensions and to permanently strip licenses, if necessary.