Monthly Archives: April 2010

Where has all the garbage gone?

Anthony M. Quattrone

Ferrandelle landfill (photo "La Repubblica" 13 May 2009, Naples Edition)

Where has all the garbage gone? This is the question that many in Naples are asking.

The crisis that overtook the city and many parts of the Campania Region between the summers of 2006 and 2008 seems to have been miraculously resolved with the change in government in May 2008, when the center-right coalition headed by Silvio Berlusconi replaced Romano Prodi’s ailing center-left administration. Berlusconi had promised the electorate that, if elected, he would have resolved the region’s waste disposal crisis as a matter of national emergency, linking the worldwide negative press, with front page photos of Naples submerged in garbage, to potential economic repercussions on the whole of the “Italy system”, ranging from tourism to products “made in Italy”.

There is no doubt that Berlusconi has successfully freed the streets of Naples from mountains of garbage, which up to now, with very few exceptions, have not returned. There is also no doubt that his success in removing garbage from the sights of the citizenry has been instrumental in leading the center-right coalition to win three major elections held over the past year in Naples and Campania. In May 2008, Berlusconi’s coalition won a majority of seats in Campania for the European Parliament, and placed Luigi Cesaro to head the provincial government of Naples. Last March, Berlusconi’s coalition, supported by the Union of Democrats of the Center, successfully won the elections, leading Stefano Caldoro to replace Antonio Bassolino as governor of the Campania Region. Bassolino has been blamed by the media as the principal politician responsible for the garbage crisis in Campania.

Has Berlusconi solved the problem? If yes, is it solved on a permanent basis? If yes, is it solved in a legally sustainable basis? These questions are surfacing in a series of investigate reports by local and national journalists. Read the whole article

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Stefano Caldoro’s center right coalition wins in Campania

Stefano Caldoro with Premier Silvio Berlusconi on 18 March 2010 during the campaign for governor of the Campania Region (photo from Caldoro's campaign site at http://www.caldoropresidente.it/foto/)

Stefano Caldoro, the candidate for the center-right coalition for governor of the Campania Region, has won the elections held on 28 and 29 March 2010, and the parties in his coalition have also conquered the majority of seats in the Regional Council. Caldoro took 54.25% of the vote, against Vicenzo de Luca, the candidate for the center-left coalition, who earned 43.04%, Paolo Ferrero, with 1.35%, who ran for the “federation of the left”, and Roberto Fico with 1.34%, representing another leftist formation, the “five stars movement”. Caldoro will be replacing Antonio Bassolino, the outgoing center-left governor, who held the post for the past ten years.

Only 62.96% of the approximately 5 million eligible voters cast their ballots during the elections in Campania.

The results in Campania follow the general trend in the elections held in ten other Italian regions. The results allow Premier Silvio Berlusconi to claim victory for his center-right government because his coalition has increased the regional governments that it administers from two to six, leaving four to the center left. The center-right won in Campania, Lazio, Piedmont, and Calabria, and it held on to Lombardy and Veneto. The center-left was able to hold on only to five regions: Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Liguria, Umbria, and Basilicata.

In Campania, Stefano Caldoro’s victory was cheered by those who are seeking a total break with the style of the outgoing governor, Antonio Bassolino, whose administration was marred by the accusation of cronyism, favoritism, and overall inefficiency. During the Bassolino years, the region has been at the center of international attention due to the garbage crisis. Stefano Caldoro is particularly concerned that Bassolino is continuing to make political appointments to regionally managed firms while he is on his way out, without coordinating such appointments with the incoming government. Continue reading

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