Clashes Hamper Naples Clean up

In Europe, News Headlines, Pollution, Protests & Campaigns

Demonstrators protesting plans to dump garbage from nearby Naples in their community clashed with police again Monday, hampering efforts to clear the city of tonnes of stinking refuse, the Ansa news agency reported.

One demonstrator was hurt in the exchange, struck in the face by a police officer, as protesters mobilised in Giugliano against a move to unload garbage at the Raverna del Re site, the agency said.

Naples remained choked by 2,200 tonnes of garbage Monday despite assurances from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi that the crisis had been resolved.

Firefighters from Naples and surrounding towns were called out 40 times overnight to douse dustbin fires burning in the centre of the city.

Berlusconi had promised on Thursday that the waste — much of it clogging the ancient city centre — would be removed within three days.

On Friday he said he had reached agreement with mayors in the region to defuse the crisis, which has led to angry protests between residents and police.

There have been violent confrontations in the past two weeks between police and residents of Terzigno, near Naples, who are demanding the closure of one open-air dump and have rejected a plan to open a second.

Berlusconi on Friday said the second site would not be opened.

Despite the agreement, refuse cannot be fully cleared from Naples because of problems in two communities, Chiaiano and Giugliano, that were to have received garbage destined for Terzingo.

The long-running issue has been blamed on a lack of local incinerators as well as landfill sites controlled by the local mafia, the Camorra, some of which were used for the illegal dumping of toxic waste.

The flashpoint issue helped Berlusconi to his election victory in 2008 after he promised to stamp out the waste disposal problem in the area.

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