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Rubbish tips Neapolitans over the edge

Rubbish tips Neapolitans over the edge
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Anger over Naples’ refuse crisis has boiled over into disturbances in some places in the Italian city. Rubbish has been piling up on the streets since Christmas when almost every dump was declared full. A clean-up plan that has cleared much of the historic centre has not reached outlying neighbourhoods and people there say they have had enough. One man said Naples “is worse than a Third World city”.

Part of the problem stems from the fact that waste collection was not regulated as it was largely in the hands of crime gangs.

A rubbish incinerator has been built but has yet to open. The previous centre-left government appointed a special commissioner to tackle the problem but his efforts have had a limited impact.

People have been burning overflowing bins partly out of fear of disease and partly in protest.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi can expect a hot reception rather than a warm welcome when he visits on Wednesday. He has blamed the previous administration and made tackling the crisis a top priority. But many in Naples say he did nothing to prevent it developing during his last term in office.