Protests growing in Naples over rubbish
Tensions are rising in the Italian city of Naples over plans to create another huge rubbish dump near the city. There have been riots in the streets and clashes between protestors and the police. Rioters burnt cars and Italian flags and hurled rocks at the police. Masked protestors dragged three policemen from their cars and beat them. One of the officers suffered a serious eye injury and was taken to hospital. Italy’s Interior Minister Roberto Maroni promised those protesting he would get tough with them if they did not stop their protests. Mr Maroni, speaking at a conference on organized crime, said: “There have been real acts of violence against the forces of law and order and this is no longer acceptable. That is why I’m appealing to those involved to lay down their weapons.”
Naples residents have had problems with rubbish for many years. Strikes by garbage collectors last year left mountains of rubbish in the streets. There are still street blockades to stop garbage collectors doing their job. People were already angry over the poor quality of the dump already in operation; they are now furious about the proposed new facility. Italy may face punishments from the European Commission. It has warned the country it may face sanctions unless it removes the 2,400 tons of rubbish currently piled up in the streets of Naples. Local people say the rubbish is an eyesore and the smell a turnoff for visitors to the Mount Vesuvius National Park. Four city mayors led a march to the entrance of the park, where they laid a wreath “in remembrance of the way the…park died”.