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Naples waste dump crisis escalates

By Rachel England - 09 Nov 2010 14:51:32 GMT
Naples waste dump crisis escalates

The Italian government has held emergency crisis talks after riots broke out in Naples over plans to build a rubbish dump in a national park near Mount Vesuvius.

The proposed Cava Vitiello tip will be the biggest waste dump in Europe, with a three-million-tonne capacity. Italy's prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has promised $20m to Terzigno, the Naples municipality where the tip is due to be built, but local officials have rejected the offer.

Guido Bertolaso, the mayor of Terzigno said: "We're not interested in money...we have only one objective: to prevent the opening of Cava Vitiello."

Ugo Leone, the director of the national park earmarked for the dump told the AFP news agency Al Jazeera these plans are "an abuse by the state" and against the law.

"From the beginning we have opposed this by all legal means possible," he said.

Tensions between protestors and officials escalated last week, when protestors blocked police escorted garbage lorries from existing dumps, set rubbish trucks alight and threw fireworks. Twenty police officers were injured during the riot, but no figure has been given for the number of locals injured.

Naples has been plagued with controversy surrounding its waste management policies for years, said to be affected by corruption, poor management and infiltration by the local mafia.

Berlusconi promised to rid the area of the problem during his 2008 election campaign, so this latest development has caused some to call for his resignation. Angelo Bonelli, leader of Italy's Green Party, said the crisis has been caused by "Berlusconi's lies".

"Italians have been deceived by the Berlusconi government that not only lied about resolving the garbage crisis but still doesn't have a plan to resolve the problem," he said.

Earlier this year The European Court of Justice warned Italy that its lack of a waste disposal system in the area is a risk to human health and the environment.

Local residents are not only concerned about the health-risks, but say that life in the vicinity of Naples' existing tips is unbearable, as they are forced to constantly keep their windows closed in order to keep unpleasant odours at bay.

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Topics: Waste Articles