Italy faces EU fine over rubbish

The European Union takes Italy to court for failing to end refuse crisis in Naples.

    A firefighter sprays water on burning piles of rubbish left on the street in a Naples suburb [AFP]

    Brussels gave Italy a final warning in January that it risked being taken to the court over the case.
    Health crisis
    Waste collection in Naples and the surrounding Campania region was halted in December when almost every dump was declared full and hundreds of tonnes of rubbish piled up in the streets, triggering a health crisis.
    Romano Prodi, Italy's outgoing prime minister, appointed Gianni De Gennaro, a former police chief, to tackle the rubbish in January.
    However, despite cleaning up the Naples' historic centre, De Gennaro has not yet managed to clear up the wider region or deliver a long-term solution to the problem.
    A large incinerator, designed to produce electricity using refuse as fuel, has been built near Naples but has yet to open.
    "The work on this (incinerator) has moved very slow, too slow," the commission official said.
    "But we hope the new Italian government will move to make this happen very quickly as it will go a long way to solving part of the problem."
    This week locals blocked a rubbish dump and set fire to rubbish piles in a northern suburb of Naples.
    Italy has said that much of the problem is down to the local mafia who are believed to control large parts of the waste business.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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