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Italy announces opening of controversial landfill site: report

by Staff Writers
Rome (AFP) June 22, 2008
Italy on Sunday announced it is to create a landfill waste disposal site at a controversial quarry site in Chiaiano, near the garbage-plagued southern city of Naples, ANSA news agency reported.

Guido Bertolaso, the minister charged with resolving a recurring garbage crisis which has struck the Campania region around Naples for much of the last 14 years, took the decision after technical studies commissioned amid heated protests by locals.

According to the agency, Bertolaso plans to hold further talks with opponents to specify the types of waste the site will handle, amid growing concerns about disease and pollution in the area.

The Italian military last week found radioactive traces in waste from a nearby hospital.

The Chiaiano site was the scene of clashes between demonstrators and security forces at the end of May, when it was first named as one of 10 locations Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi proposed to convert.

Under a May 21 decree, new landfills in the Campania region -- where existing dumps are filled to capacity amid claims of Camorra mafia corruption -- are considered military zones and guarded as such.

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Russian leader says environment problems a security threat
Moscow (AFP) June 21, 2008
Russia's environmental problems are a threat to national security and could make parts of the country uninhabitable within 30 years, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Saturday.

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