Italy faces massive fines failing garbage clean-up: EU
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Last Updated: Saturday, October 23, 2010, 20:27
Brussels: Italy faces EU legal action and massive fines failing waste management improvement around Naples, scene of escalating clashes this week in its ongoing garbage crisis, a European commissioner said on Saturday.

"I am worried by what has been happening in Campania in recent days," said Janez Potocnik, the commissioner for the environment, referring to the explosive situation in the Naples region.

"Today's situation leads us to believe that measures taken by Italian authorities since 2007 are insufficient," he said in a statement.

He said the Commission, the EU executive arm, was considering sending a team to the area to assess whether Italy remained in breach of European legislation requiring waste disposal installations that protect human health and the environment.

Europe's highest court in March found Italy had broken EU legislation for its failure to clean-up the Naples region garbage crisis declared by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi 18 months earlier.

Should the European Commission decide to refer the matter back to the court -- the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice -- for a second time, and should it decide against Italy, the country would face a fine running into millions of euros.

The fines are calculated as a percentage of GDP, with day-by-day penalties added to a lump sum.


First Published: Saturday, October 23, 2010, 20:27

Tag: ItalygarbageEU
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