Italy fined €20 million over Campania's rubbish

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A scooter blocked by rubbish in Napoli. Photo: Anna Monaco / AFP
11:56 CEST+02:00
The European Court of Justice has hit Italy with a €20 million fine for failing to resolve waste management problems in the southern Campania region.

In calculating the lump sum, the court found Italy had repeatedly failed to fulfil its obligations in establishing “an integrated and suitable network of installations” to ensure the safe disposal of waste in the area

The court also handed Italy a daily late-payment fine of €120,000, which must be paid for each day that the problem goes unresolved.

Italian Enviornmental Minister Gian Luca Galletti outlined that the daily fines would come out of the region's pocket.

“It's only fair,” he told La Repubblica, adding that the government had been introducing "effective legislation to improve waste disposal." 

However, the minister admitted: “We have some regions that can't manage to resolve these kinds of problems.”

The problems of waste management in Campania are well documented and difficult to resolve overnight.

Years of toxic waste dumping for profit by mafia groups have caused parts of the region to be dubbed the 'Land of Fires'.

Mafia infiltration of public waste disposal is widespread, and the area contains large stockpiles of historic waste known as 'ecobales', which the EU estimates could take 15 years to clear.

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The so-called Land of Fires gets its name from the high number of uncontrolled fires that break out in the area due to uncontrolled dumping. Last year, firefighters extinguished 2,531 across the area.

But it's not just flames that are the problem. Pollution caused by toxic waste dumping has also lead to levels of cancer in the area being way above the national average.

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