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10 Jan, 2008 07:30

Naples sinks under mountain of trash

Thousands of people in the Italian city of Naples have taken to the streets to protest against the government's handling of the so-called ‘rubbish crisis’. More than 100,000 tonnes of garbage is rotting on the city's streets after refuse collections stop

Seven firefighters have been wounded after angry protesters threw stones and firecrackers at fire-engines.

Naples's refuse collectors stopped collecting  rubbish in the city and the surrounding region in December after landfill sites were declared full.

The port city has been buried under piles of garbage since then.

The situation is so serious that Italian leader Romano Prodi is considering using the police and army to tackle the crisis.

He's promising to reopen several landfill sites, including some closed because of health concerns.

The situation has been complicated by the involvement of the local mafia, who control the regions waste disposal businesses.