EU "very concerned" by Naples garbage as it mulls new sanctions
Jun 28, 2011, 14:42 GMT
Brussels - The European Union's top environment official said Tuesday he was 'very concerned' by Italian authorities' failure to deal with a garbage crisis in Naples, and warned he risked having 'little choice' but to pursue sanctions.
The garbage crisis in Naples - with litter again piling up on the city's streets - has resurfaced over the past days, despite repeated commitments by authorities to clear the mess.
'I am very concerned that so little, if any, progress has been achieved since 2007 when the European Commission was obliged to open an infringement procedure against the Italian Republic,' EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said in a statement.
Potocnik declared himself 'encouraged' by pledges from Naples's newly-elected mayor, Luigi de Magistris, to rectify the situation.
However, he warned that the absence of improvements 'leaves the (European) Commission with little choice but to actively pursue the infringement procedure.'
Italy would have two months to explain itself, after which the commission would have the power to ask the EU Court of Justice to slap heavy fines on it for failing to comply with a 2010 ruling on the garbage crisis.
Earlier this month, Naples daily Il Mattino reported that the procedure would be launched as early as September.
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