The building, which is situated at Via Santa Croce in Gerusalemme 55, was occupied on October 12, 2013, by the Action movement, for residential and communal purposes.

On May 6, it was plunged into darkness after energy company Hera cut the electricity supply.

The building has also been without hot water.

The building’s residents have not paid its energy bills since occupation.

According to sources the bills now amount to more than €300,000.

“I intervened personally last night to reattach the meters,” Krajewski said.

“It was a desperate gesture.

“In that building there are over 400 people without electricity, with families, children, without even the possibility of operating the refrigerators.”

The building in question, which once housed the offices of Inpdap, is occupied by numerous families in housing emergency, and also contains a multi-purpose cultural centre which includes a hostel, a craft beer laboratory, a carpentry workshop, a music and theatre rehearsal space and a safe space “open to all, and in particular the youth and the needy”.

The more than 21,000 square meters are owned by the Fip d InvestiRe sgr fund, a real estate branch of the Banca Finnat Group, which owns 123 properties in Rome alone.

Sources from the Vatican have confirmed that the gesture was made by the cardinal “in full awareness of the possible legal consequences that he could now face, in the belief that it was necessary to do so for the sake of these families”.

The problem now falls onto the shoulders of Mayor Virginia Raggi’s administration, which has confirmed to have no intention to pay the bills, yet appreciates the culturally significant Spin Time Labs as “of great value”.

Leader of the League party Matteo Salvini has commented on the situation, saying “I expect that the Pope’s almsgiver, who intervened to turn the power back on in the occupied building in Rome, will also pay the €300,000 in back bills”.