On Monday 22nd of November, the EU has sent a team of inspectors in Italy, to help Naples’s authorities with the montains of rubbish in the streets. They declared that the total amount of uncollected waste in the city was about to reach 3,600 tonnes. Naples streets are literally drowing under the mass of refuse that redecorate the city.
This crisis has begun two years ago, in 2009. The Italian Government had to close some of the regional dumps after important protests from the citizens, who feared that the site could expose the community to pollution risks. In two years, Berlusconi’s government hasen’t been capable to solve the problem. Pia Bucella, who is in charge of the EU delegation in Naples, is pessimistic. ” After two years, the situation is not very different “, she says. ” The refuse is there in the streets, and there is still no plan for treating or recycling it “. Even the Naples Mayor doesn’t believe in changes anymore; ” The city’s not dirty, it’s filthy. I wish I could invent new powers for myself so I could actually do something “.
Pia Bucella has asked the local and national authorities to set up a plan by December, otherwise, the EU wouldn’t be in a position to help Naples financially. ” The European funds will stay blocked until the Commission hasn’t adopted the regional rubbish plan”, she says, ” Naples will have to do huge efforts to make the difference “. The regional President of the Council Paolo Romano announced that they would propose a plan that would be adopted by the European Comission by the end of the first semester 2011.
The consequences of this crisis aren’t only financial. Health experts are warning the population and the authorities about the health problems causes by the rubbish piled into the streets. ” There is a health and hygene danger that may turn into a serious risk for public health”, says Dr Maria Triassi, supported by the Italian Institue of Public Hygene. Another serious issue it the presence of rats, cockroaches, insects and stray dogs which are quite dangerous for the population.
When Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi took the office in 2008, he promised that cleaning up Naples’s streets would be one of his top priorities. Today, it seems that Berslusconi’s government is about to end. Mara Carfagna has already resignated from her post of Minister of the Equal Opportunities. She didn’t agree with how Italian government was dealing with the crisis in Naples, her hometown.
According to the expert, it will take at least three months to stabilize the situation in Naples.