Berlusconi sees Naples and sweeps

Other News Materials 8 August 2008 05:53 (UTC +04:00)

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi picked up a broom on Thursday in a brief attempt at sweeping the streets of Naples, where a garbage crisis has scared off tourists and threatened residents' health.

"The streets should be an extension of your house," said Berlusconi, who has held cabinet meetings in Naples in an effort to show he is serious about tackling what he has called a national emergency.

Berlusconi picked up a piece of paper off the street before taking up a broom and whisking it around for a few seconds.

Waste disposal has long been a chronic problem for Italy's third largest city.

Official dumps were declared full last year, forcing residents to dump refuse on the streets. Attempts to open new landfill sites met resistance from locals, who erected barricades to stop garbage trucks and clashed with police, the Reuters reported.