The rubbish crisis disfiguring Naples drags on, despite government determination to clean up the streets. Talks between Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Garbage Tsar and local Naples mayors ended in stalemate, the mayors rejecting government plans to impose new landfill sites.
The first flashpoint is in Chiaiano, in northwestern Naples, where work on a new rubbish tip is due to start within days. Protestors blocked roads to prevent access to the site, as tempers reached boiling point. At least 12 people were hurt in angry clashes in Naples over the weekend.
The very public opposition to the dumps is the first real test of Berlusconi’s third premiership. He returned to power promising to sort out the problem, and has vowed not to back down. He said the mountains of rubbish will be cleared away, and he will not retreat an inch.