Naples would rather be famous for wood-baked pizza. But its real specialty these days is spectacular trash crises. The latest emergency, like those before it, stems from government mismanagement and the Camorra, Naples' Mob, which has infiltrated much of the garbage industry. Refuse went uncollected for three weeks, leading to school closures, violent street protests and finally deployment of the Italian army to collect the trash. A look at what's causing the stench:
THE DIRTY MOB
The Camorra profits whether trash is collected or not. Area dumps have been full since 1994, triggering an ongoing state of emergency. But about half of the annual emergency funds, some 700 million euros, may end up in Mob hands.
THE STINK OF BAD GOVERNMENT
The perpetual instability of the Italian political system has led to a heap of broken promises. A new special commissioner has been named, but his mandate is a laughably short four months.
A REGION LEFT TO ROT
Italy is divided between the rich north and the poor south, plagued by unemployment and organized crime. The trash is just one symptom of a federal neglect that needs fixing.