“Shame on you!” is the cry, as hundreds of survivors of the L’Aquila earthquake demanded more help from the Italian government. Two and a half months after the tremor which killed 300 people and left 60,000 homeless, survivors say they’ve been forgotten. They fear reconstruction funds will come too slowly or be insufficient, and want local control of the money.
Ettore di Cesare, Earthquake Victims’ Association “Faced with the scandalous handling of the recovery, the people of L’Aquila have no choice but to demand complete openness in the reconstruction effort, and that we be allowed to participate in the decisions concerning our lives,” said Ettore di Cesare, of the Earthquake Victims’ Association. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s hands-on response to the disaster, including moving next month’s G8 summit to the region, boosted his popularity. But local people say it was an empty gesture. “I don’t give a damn about the G8,” said survivor Roberto Gioni. “Roads have been re-built to get people to the G8 venue, but the historic centre of L’Aquila is still dangerous and no-one is doing anything about that. We are still suffering aftershocks, and the damaged buildings are getting worse.” Parliament has been discussing how to rebuild devastated towns and villages around L’Aquila, and the Prime Minister has promised temporary wooden housing by September. But many people fear they will living under canvas for years to come.