EU inspector criticises Italy over Naples rubbish pileup
A European Union inspector visiting Naples on Monday to examine the city's latest rubbish removal crisis, said the situation was similar to 2008, dpa reported
"After two years, the situation is not very different. Refuse is on the streets and there is still no plan for the treatment or management sorted waste," said Pia Bucella of the European Commission's Civil Protection body.
Bucella heads a team of inspectors assessing the situation in the southern Italian port city on behalf of the Commission, which has threatened to fine Italy if it fails to resolve the crisis.
Talks on Monday with Italian officials were held in "an atmosphere of collaboration," Bucella said. She however added that the Brussels-based Commission would soon express its own opinion on the matter.
Removal trucks have almost completely stopped collecting rubbish in and around Naples amid protests by residents who have erected blockades to prevent access to rubbish dumps located in their areas.
That is espite Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi repeated claims that measures are in place to ensure an end to disputes over how rubbish is disposed in the Naples area, including curbing leakages and bad odours emitted from some of the dumps.
In March, the European Court of Justice ruled that the Italian state was to blame for the 2008 crisis and ordered the government of the Campania region which encompasses Naples to adopt effective waste management measures.
The EU is currently considering whether plans recently submitted by the Campania regional government enough to redress the situation.
If the commission's analysis were to be negative, Italy would be asked to pay fines likely to run into millions of euros for its failure to implement the March 2010 ruling