Sunday April 6 marks five years since an earthquake hit L’Aquila in Italy. Today, many buildings remain unfinished.
It will take a lot of time to bring the ancient city back to its former state.
One local resident remembers how it used to be before the quake rocked the area.
“It’s so sad, so sad,” he said. Pointing to the spot where rows of shops once stood, he continued,”…now it’s a ghost city, definitely, it’s a ghost city.”
Italian governments have spent more than 8 billion euros constructing a new town for residents of l’Aquila city centre. The town, financed in part with European funds, has been hit by a number of scandals.
According to the EU Court of Auditors,more than 4,000 apartments were bought at 158 percent above the market value.
An EU Committee on budgetary control report in Brussels suggest that some construction companies appear to be linked to organised crime.
Moreover, many residents described the houses as being of “poor quality.”
Giuseppe Caporale, an Italian journalist and author, spoke about a corruption allegation which is being investigated.
“When corruption is involved, the costs rise by 30 to 40 percent. And the work is never done as it should be done,” said Caporale.
In a neighbouring village, families of more than three hundred people who died in the earthquake remembered loved ones by displaying their photos on fences.