A local council in northern Italy has cancelled a fine imposed on a Nigerian migrant for sweeping streets without permission.

The unemployed 29-year-old, named Monday, had decided to clean streets in the Venice suburb of Mestre instead of begging passersby for money.

He initially received a €350 ($383; £309) penalty. But protests led officials to withdraw it.

The fine also prompted an online appeal to raise money to pay it.

"I would like to integrate myself honestly in your society without asking for alms," he wrote on a cardboard sign, displayed nearby while he swept. "I will keep your street clean and ask only a contribution for my work."

In a Facebook post, Matteo D'Angelo – who started the online appeal – said the migrant had swept up "leaves that block the drains every time it rains, cigarette butts and all the rubbish that we civilised citizens throw on the ground.

"Woe betide a poor chap who tries to integrate himself," he added.

Monday's actions reportedly drew police attention after complaints from residents.

But the fine was withdrawn after police received four phone calls from other local residents who defended him.

Authorities said the fine had been given by officers who were new and inexperienced.

Immigration continues to be a controversial issue in Italy, where thousands of migrants have arrived in recent years.

Last week, Italy and France called for a new system to automatically redistribute migrants across the European Union.


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