Italy condemned yet again on hazardous waste

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Maurizio Turco

Italy condemned yet again on hazardous waste

Due to the persistent violation of the Community Directives on hazardous waste and waste landfills, on June 3rd the European Commission asked the Court of Justice of the European Union to condemn Italy to a fine of 256.819 Euro per day, starting from the day in which the sentence will be pronounced, foreseen for September. This fine will come in addition to the fine of 28.089,60 Euro per day for the number of days since the violation was first ascertained, on 26 April 2007.

Over seven years have passed from the day the violation was first ascertained to this new sanction for the absence of concrete Governmental action by the Italian Regions. Four more years were needed from when the European Commission first decided to proceed, solicited by parliamentary questions, press articles and complaints, including one filed by the Radicals.

By the time the sentence will be issued, a total of 11 years will have passed. These proceeding times are much alike the times of the Italian justice system, which is being sanctioned for over 30 years now by the European Court of Human Rights for the unreasonable length of its judicial proceedings.

While there is the obvious need for a radically different approach to waste policies, this case confirms the clear priority and extreme urgency for a thorough reform of the justice system, to make it act with efficiency and timeliness. The current ineffectiveness leads to serious side effects, as is well known (also) by the citizens living in the territories that insist on the illegal dumping of hazardous waste.

Translation: Laura Harth


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