EU money for rebuilding L'Acquila after earthquake 'ended up in pockets of mafia'
EU investigators claim there is evidence that taxpayers’ money earmarked for the reconstruction of earthquake-devasted L’Aquila ended up in the hands of mobsters.
After the magnitude 6.3 quake hit the medieval mountain town on April 6, 2009, killing more than 300, the Italian and European governments began work on channeling millions into the area to reconstruct levelled homes and businesses.
But fears that mafia groups in Italy would siphon off funds appear to have been realised, according to a new report, which is particularly critical of the European Union Commission in Brussels.
In the document, Soren Bo Sondergaard, the EU rapporteur, said there was evidence that some of the €494 million donation was paid to construction companies with "direct or indirect ties" to organised crime. He said that known criminals were found at a factory run by one of the contractors.
And the quality of some of the newly-constructed accommodation in the town also came under fire. Illegal and shoddily constructed homes, using poor quality cement, are a hallmark of mafia-tainted building work. Shoddy construction was thought to be a factor in the deadly collapse of the student dormitory during the L’Acquila earthquake, which killed eight students.
Regarding the quality of houses, Massimo Cialente, mayor of L'Aquila, told the BBC: "Some of the houses built have never-ending issues and we spend lots of money repairing them."
The EU had made available 493,700 euros for the region from its Solidarity Fund. But the total needed for the reconstruction of the city and surrounding region was more than €10 billion.
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Boxing Day snowfall set to push even more bargain-hunters online for sales
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...
£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...