Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-15-Speech-2-218"

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"Mr President, honourable members of the European Parliament, the refuse which has been accumulating in the streets of Naples and neighbouring towns since 21 December, as the media inform us, is estimated to have exceeded the huge quantity of 100,000 tonnes. This, in combination with the negative - I would say catastrophic - effects for residents and the environment, is a cause for grave concern. The crisis in recent days in Naples did not come from nowhere. It is the culmination of deficient enforcement of European legislation on refuse over the past 14 years, for which Italy has been repeatedly condemned by the Court of the European Communities. Beyond the role of organised crime which is emphasised by the press, a direct cause of the present crisis appears to be inaction and lack of will to adopt the measures necessary for solving the chronic problem of waste management. When the Commission was first informed of the crisis in the refuse collection and disposal system in Campania, in the spring of 2007, proceedings were initiated against Italy for contravention of Community legislation on refuse. Since then, the Commission has been observing developments at first hand and has already come to an initial on-the-spot assessment of the situation, at the request of the Italian government. A further meeting with the competent Italian authorities is due to take place in the next few days. It is the responsibility of the Italian authorities to take immediate measures to clear the refuse from the streets. But as this new crisis shows, it is not enough merely to remove the refuse from the streets. Any short-term measures must be supplemented by the adoption and, most important, the effective implementation of long-term strategic measures. For example, an adequate network of waste processing facilities fully complying with the standards laid down by Community legislation. This must be accompanied by an integrated long-term strategy of waste management with the aim of promoting recycling and sorting of refuse upon collection. Legislative Decree no. 61, issued in May 2007 to solve the refuse crisis, did not achieve its aim. The emergency plan announced by Prime Minister Prodi on 8 January is a more ambitious effort in this direction, but a crucial element remains the timing of the measures, which must be swift and effective. We shall continue to monitor closely the implementation of the measures in practice by the Italian authorities. The Commission will continue to exert pressure on the Italian government to end the crisis, and intends to proceed with the legal action against Italy. The continual violations of Community environmental legislation in Campania must finally be brought to an end, as Community law requires. Although the situation appears to be difficult, it is not impossible for the Italian authorities to comply with Community legislation on refuse. I am sure that useful examples can be drawn, not only from other Member States but also from other regions of Italy, where solutions have been found for the controlled disposal of waste by a combination of different types of volume reduction, collection and disposal."@en1

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