Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

ENCORE!

Haute Couture: the hand-stitched clothing made in Paris that sells for the price of small yachts

Read more

  • Netanyahu resists international pressure to stop air strikes on Gaza

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • The third-place playoff: the World Cup game no one wants to play

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

  • Kurdish forces take over two oilfields in northern Iraq

    Read more

  • Are French high school students getting smarter?

    Read more

  • Italy’s Trentin wins seventh stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Disgraced Suarez leaves Liverpool for Barcelona

    Read more

  • In pictures: Chanel, Dior and so much more at the Paris couture shows

    Read more

  • French ‘Civic Service’ eyes massive expansion amid huge demand

    Read more

  • In Pictures: Petrol station hit by Hamas rockets

    Read more

  • Manhunt as FIFA partner flees Rio hotel to avoid arrest

    Read more

Government heads for waste-ridden Naples

©

Latest update : 2008-05-20

As Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi prepares to hold his first cabinet meeting in Naples on Wednesday, the city is still grappling with tonnes of waste rotting in the streets, in a long-standing crisis that shows no sign of ending.

When Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his cabinet arrive in Naples on Wednesday to discuss Italy’s controversial immigration policies, they may be met by stench, smoke, and blocked roads – the aftermath of over 90 trash fires started by Neapolitans Monday night in protest over the tens of thousands of tonnes of waste that have accumulated in the streets.

“This morning I saw trucks trying to clean the streets before Berlusconi’s arrival, but the suburbs are still filthy. People plug their noses as they walk the streets,” says FRANCE 24 correspondent Alexis Masciarelli, reporting from Naples.

Berlusconi’s presence is expected to put pressure on the local government to find a solution.  Earlier this year, he had made a campaign promise to move the government to Naples if the rubbish crisis was not resolved.

The rubbish fires are the culmination of endless waste piling that goes back fifteen years, and that has reached a breaking point in the last six months.

In 1994, the Italian government attempted to wrest the waste disposal business from the mafia group known as the Camorra – a move that arguably created more problems than it solved.  

The Camorra continues to hold a monopoly over waste disposal in Naples, and since they no longer own the refuse dumps, they took to dumping and burning toxic refuse in the countryside. Camorra gangs have also bought plots of land at reduced prices and turned them into illegal dumps.

The noxious materials emitted by the piled trash, including asbestos, have been linked with cancer and other serious ailments in the region- so much so that the area surrounding Naples has been dubbed “The Triangle of Death.”

The European Union has been putting pressure on Naples to take action. Stavros Dimas, EU Environmental Commissioner, was quoted in the Tuesday edition of the Italian daily Corriere della Sera as saying, that the EU “is prepared to help Italy with means and know how, but we need the will of the other side to resolve the problem.”
 
Not only the Camorra, but also the local Campanian government and private northern Italian companies have been blamed for the crisis, the latter of whom allegedly hire the Camorra backhandedly to dispose of waste in a cheap and illegal fashion.

Masciarelli believes that EU involvement has had some effect: “Italy is under great scrutiny at the moment, not just over the trash issue but also because of the immigration policies. The EU statement has put Italy under pressure to resolve the issue.”

Date created : 2008-05-20

Comments

COMMENT(S)