Italy Halts Garbage Protests

Authorities planned Sunday to temporarily halt waste deliveries to try to stop violent protests over a garbage tip outside Naples as clashes erupted again overnight between police and demonstrators.

Hundreds of people joined more demonstrations late Saturday in Terzigno and overnight several dozen protestors hurled rocks at police who responded with tear gas, according to footage broadcast by Sky TG-24 television.

At least six officers have been injured in the clashes, officials said.

In a bid to calm tensions over the waste crisis, Italy’s security chief Guido Bertolaso late Saturday signed a plan to halt delivery of waste to the tip at Terzigno for three days.

It also calls for the decision on whether to open a second garbage tip to be postponed indefinitely provided the demonstrations stop.

These moves to resolve the waste crisis are set to be examined Sunday by the towns concerned in the Naples region whose mayors are later expected to meet with Bertolaso to sign off on the plan.

The protestors’ blockade of Terzigno’s existing dump has caused 2,400 tonnes of rubbish to pile up in the streets of Naples, the official responsible for the city’s hygiene, Paolo Giacomelli, said Saturday.

The proposed new dump, the biggest in Europe, would be 800 metres (875 yards) from the edge of Terzigno in the Vesuvius National Park, some 135 square kilometres (52 square miles) of outstanding natural beauty in the Bay of Naples.

The protected area of rare wildlife and plants includes Mount Vesuvius, best known for its volcanic eruption in 79 AD that destroyed the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

The long-running waste issue has been blamed on a lack of local incinerators, and landfill sites controlled by the local mafia, the Camorra, some of which were used for the illegal dumping of toxic waste.

Meanwhile, the European environment commissioner, Janez Potocnik, said Saturday Italy faced legal action by the European Union and massive fines for failing to improve waste management around Naples.

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