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EU court fines Italy over 'Land of Fires'

Nation ordered to pay 20 million euros

(ANSA) - Rome, July 16 - The European Court of Justice has slapped Italy with another fine for failing to resolve waste management problems in the Terra dei Fuochi (Land of Fires) in the southern region of Campania, ordering the country to pay 20 million euros.
    The court has also imposed a daily fine of 120,000 euros that Italy must pay every day until the problems are adequately solved.
    In December, the court handed Italy a 40-million-euro fine for failing to combat illegal waste dumping in the area around Naples.
    The rulings highlight the Italian government's struggle to deal with an environmental disaster in parts of the region, where criminal organisations have dumped toxic waste for decades.
    In 2014, firefighters were called to put out 2,531 blazes in in the Land of Fires.
    This was down from the number of episodes recorded in 2013 and in 2012, when firefighters intervened 3,984 times.
    Efforts have been made to monitor and clamp down on the environmental damage caused by the powerful Naples-based Camorra mafia.
    The local mob, whose activities have been detailed by writer Roberto Saviano, has deeply infiltrated the rubbish collection industry.
    It has raked in huge profits even as its illegal dumps and uncontrolled burning of waste and other toxic materials have been blamed for unusually high levels of cancer and other diseases linked to pollution.


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