EU raps Italy on trash crisis

Jan. 16, 2008 at 3:28 PM

STRASBOURG, France, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Italy could face sanctions for the trash crisis in Naples, which EU officials blamed on a failure to implement European regulations.

European Commission Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas, at a European Parliament session in Strasbourg, France, said that "all available measures" would be taken if the crisis isn't resolved swiftly, the International Herald Tribune reported.

"What we are witnessing these days in Naples is not a crisis coming out of the blue," Dimas said. "It is the culmination of a more than 14-year-old process of insufficient implementation of European waste legislation, for which Italy has repeatedly been condemned by the European Court of Justice."

The mountains of uncollected garbage have become so large and the city so unsavory that schools have been shut down and stores are beginning to close. Italian officials blame the crisis on the failure to approve new dumps or incinerators and on the Camorra, the Neapolitan mob, which controls much of the waste disposal business.

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