Naples residents allow survey for new landfill
Stars and Stripes May 28, 2008
NAPLES, Italy — After a weekend of violent clashes with police, residents of a Naples suburb on Tuesday allowed environmental officials to survey land slated to become a trash landfill.
Meanwhile, judicial officials announced the arrest of several city leaders and employees appointed to clean up the city’s rubbish problem.
A Naples judge on Tuesday ordered an investigation of 25 people, including employees and top officials of the Impregilo Group, a major Italian company which, until 2005, managed waste disposal in the Campania region, according to Italian news reports.
Alessandro Pansa, the prefect of Naples and a former special commissioner for the trash emergency, is charged with forgery; the head of the city’s health department, Marta Di Gennaro, has been placed on house arrest during the probe, according to the Italian ANSA news agency.
Several other officials also are under house arrest, with charges ranging from forgery and deception to misappropriation of public funds, ANSA reported.
News of the arrests came a few days after violent weekend clashes with police as residents of the Chiaiano neighborhood, north of the city, protested the opening of a landfill in a neighborhood quarry near a hospital. A dozen people were injured in the melee, news outlets reported.
Last week, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi vowed to focus government efforts and funding on curbing the rubbish problem, which buried this city under tons of garbage that has been piling up since mid-December.
On Tuesday, residents reportedly removed barricades to let experts from the Agenzia Regionale Protezione Ambientale Campania, the Italian equivalent to the Environmental Protection Agency, begin a site survey.