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Italy calls emergency talks as riots erupt in Naples

Demonstrators protest against the opening of a new dump on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius after clashes with riot police inTerzigno on October 21, 2010. Naples' latest garbage emergency turned nastier after demonstrators blocked the access to the Terzigno dump, a commune 20 km from Naples. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Naples, Italy (AFP) Oct 21, 2010
Rioting residents threw rocks at police and destroyed garbage trucks during violent skirmishes near Naples on Thursday that injured 20 officers as the region's waste disposal crisis escalated.

The clashes prompted the government to call an emergency meeting for Friday.

Demonstrators in the small town of Boscoreale "assaulted 20 policemen and damaged 16 vehicles including eight police cars" during running battles with officers in riot gear wielding truncheons, a Naples police spokesperson said.

There was no word from officials on the numbers of protesters injured.

Five garbage trucks were set alight as officers fired tear gas and set up road blocks to regain control of the town, media reports said.

The mayor of Boscoreale, Gennaro Langella, said he would close schools in the town for two days to safeguard public order, ANSA news agency reported.

The clashes followed a decision by local authorities to move ahead with plans to open a vast garbage tip in the area, where there is already a dump.

The Cava Vitiello tip is planned to be the biggest garbage dump in Europe with a three-million-tonne capacity and will take waste mainly from Naples.

Thursday's violence followed a night of clashes between residents and police in the nearby town of Terzigno as hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets with women and children to protest the opening of the new dump.

The inhabitants of Terzigno and several other municipalities in the area are planning to bring their case to Rome on Friday, where they are to hold a rally.

Domenico Auricchio, mayor of Terzigno, travelled to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's residence in Rome and said he hoped to persuade the Italian leader to do something about the crisis.

"Twenty days ago Berlusconi told me he would have found a solution to the second tip," he said.

"He promised he would come to Terzigno but he still hasn't," he said.

The leader of Italy's Green party, Angelo Bonelli, who had gone to Terzigno to meet residents, said the crisis was caused by "Berlusconi's lies" and called for the prime minister to resign.

"Italians have been deceived by the Berlusconi government that not only lied about resolving the garbage crisis but still doesn't have a plan to resolve the problem," he said.

But the head of the Campania region where Naples is located, Stefano Caldoro, said fears about setting up a second garbage dump were "unmotivated."

Tensions have been rising in the area in recent weeks on this flashpoint issue, which helped Berlusconi to his election victory in 2008 after he promised to stamp out the waste disposal problem in the area.

The European Court of Justice earlier this year criticised Italy, saying it had no adequate system for waste disposal in the Naples region and warning that the problem was a risk to human health and the environment.

earlier related report
Riots in Naples area over new garbage tip
Naples, Italy (AFP) Oct 21, 2010 - Violence rocked towns near Naples on Thursday as the government's decision to go ahead with plans to open a second vast garbage tip in the region sparked another day of riots.

Groups smashed shop windows in the small town of Boscoreale, some 25 kilometres (15 miles) southeast of Naples as the region's waste disposal crisis escalated, Italian news agency Ansa said.

The vandalism followed a night of clashes between residents and police in the town of Terzigno, as hundreds of masked demonstrators took to the streets with women and children to protest the opening of the new dump.

Confirmation that the Cava Vitiello tip -- which will be the biggest in Europe with a three million ton capacity -- will open in the region, sparked the revolt which left two injured.

Rioters slung bottles and smoke flares at armed police who attempted to dispel the crowd with teargas canisters.

"I'm very worried about the response from the region and ask everybody, from demonstrators to security forces, to avoid conflict," Luigi Cesaro, the president of the province of Naples, told Ansa.

Gennaro Langella, mayor of Boscoreale and member of the government's People of Freedom Party (PDL), announced his resignation after hearing the news.

"I cannot be party to a decision so wicked and serious," he said.

"This is a grave problem not only for public health but also for public order. I'm seriously worried about what will happen in this region," he added.

Tensions have been rising in the Naples region on this flashpoint issue, which helped Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to his election victory in 2008 after he promised to stamp out the waste disposal problem in the area.

Locals have been holding sit-in protests over the last few weeks to demand the immediate closure of the current tip and block plans for the new one.

The inhabitants of Terzigno and several other municipalities in the area are planning to bring their case to Rome on Friday, where they are to hold a rally.




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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it has proposed adding nine "Superfund" hazardous waste sites to the National Priorities List. The proposed sites are located in Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and two in Puerto Rico, the EPA said in a release. Contaminants found at the nine proposed sites include arsenic, asbestos, barium, cadmiu ... read more

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