Europe

Italy army clearing Naples rubbish

  • 9 May 2011
  • From the section Europe
Soldiers of the Italian army collect rubbish in Naples, 7 May 2011
Image caption This is the second time in three years that the army has cleared Naples' rubbish

The Italian army has arrived in Naples to help the city deal with its continuing rubbish collection crisis.

About 170 troops have been deployed there, bringing more than 70 trucks to help move refuse.

About 2,000 tons of refuse has now been left on the streets. Angry Naples residents have set fire to the piles several times.

This is the second time since 2008 that the Italian army has been drafted into Naples to clear away the rubbish.

Residents want the refuse taken elsewhere, after nearby landfill sites have become too full.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been both blamed for the crisis and praised for trying to solve it.

One of Mr Berlusconi's election promises in 2008 was to clean up the streets of Naples and, for a while, his move to send in the troops worked.

But that was three years ago and the problem has come back - in part because of technical failures in local incinerators and the lack of investment in other landfill sites.

Some commentators say Mr Berlusconi is using the dramatic instrument of the army once again to gain popularity ahead of local elections later this month.

Even the mafia is said to have played a part in the crisis.

Some claim mobsters have infiltrated waste management in Naples and dumped toxic waste on the sites, making residents even more nervous about living next to them.

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