Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland
Advertisement

EU's top court fines Italy for failure to treat sewage

Share this article

EU's top court fines Italy for failure to treat sewage
A sewer cover in Rome. Photo: Marie-Laure Messane/AFP
14:24 CEST+02:00
The European Union's top court on Thursday fined crisis-ridden Italy €25 million for years of failure to treat urban sewage, warning of steeper fines with more delays.

The European Court of Justice found Italy had missed repeated deadlines to comply with "EU law on the collection and treatment of urban waste water" in scores of areas, almost all of them in the country's south.

"Italy is ordered to pay a lump sum of €25 million and a fine of more than €30 million for every six months of delay," the court ruled.

"The court already found in its first judgment in this matter in 2012 that Italy had failed to fulfil its obligations," it added.

The European Commission, the 28-nation EU's executive arm, took Italy back to the Luxembourg-based court in December 2016 for failing to fully comply with the tribunal's first ruling.

READ ALSO: Abruzzo agrees to take on Rome's overflowing rubbish

Four years after the first ruling, it said, more than six million people in 80 areas, 51 of them in Sicily, lacked proper waste water treatment. The southern regions of Calabria and Campania together accounted for 20 areas that had substandard treatment.

"The lack of adequate collection and treatment systems for these 80 agglomerations poses significant risks to human health, inland waters and the marine environment," the commission said at the time.

The fines come as Italy is mired in political crisis following failed efforts by eurosceptic populist and right-wing parties to form a government amid staggering debt.

The deadlock could lead to new elections, further bolstering anti-EU populists.

READ ALSO: Two dead after falling into sewage vat at Eni plant

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

12 unexpected facts you probably didn't know about Iceland

Iceland has long been known as one of the most beautiful places in the world, but over the past few years it has also come to be viewed as a rather unusual hotbed of football talent. Here are 12 other things that you might not know about Iceland.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement