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'Costa Concordia must be scrapped in EU' says Greenpeace

But 'Italy not equipped' says environmentalist watchdog

10 March, 18:02
'Costa Concordia must be scrapped in EU' says Greenpeace (ANSA) - Rome, March 10 - Greenpeace Italy on Monday called for the Costa Concordia wreck to be disposed of safely in a European port following the 1992 Basel Convention, which among other measures bans the export of hazardous naval waste from industrialized to non-industrialized nations.

"The European Commission (EC) in 2012 excluded ships from the Basel Convention. This led to the dismantling of ship demolition facilities in the EU while favoring the export of such ships to Turkey and other Asian nations," said Greenpeace Italy Campaign Director Alessandro Gianni.

The EC move also led to illegal ship demolition in Europe and a steel-recycling business in the developing world, to the benefit of European shipowners and and the detriment of South Asian workers and the environment, Greenpeace explained.

"This illegal trade flourished because it involves cheap labor, substandard toxic-waste handling, and market profits on the recycled steel," Gianni said.

The Costa Concordia cruise liner hit rocks and partially capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio in January 13, 2012, killing 32 out of the 4,229 people on board.

The 290-meter long, 13-deck, diesel-engine mammoth was restored to an upright position after a successful parbuckling operation in September.

The company has declared the ship a total loss and plans to scrap it.

However there is no place to safely dispose of the Costa Concordia in Italy, where it would take at least two years to build a proper naval demolition basin, according to Greenpeace.