The European Commission warned on Saturday that Italy could face sanctions if it does not withdraw the 2,400 tons of garbage piled in the streets of Naples, in the latest crisis facing the country over the handling of waste.
For more than a week, demonstrators in Terzigno, a small town near Naples, have burned vehicles, burning Italian flags and threw stones and firecrackers at police to protest against the stench and filth in a local garbage dump and plans open a new one in the Vesuvius National Park, said AP.
The clashes continued into the early hours of Saturday and residents around Naples burned piles of rubbish. Terzigno the situation around was calm on Saturday, but the protesters occupied a train station for a few hours, news reports said.
Pope Benedict XVI spoke on Saturday with words of support for residents, saying he was spiritually close to them and prayed for a "just and mutually agreed solution to the problem" according to a message received by the local diocese.
Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner for Environment, said the violence between residents and police on where to put the garbage in Naples showed that Italy has not taken adequate steps since the last crisis in 2007.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has promised a quick resolution to the conflict, noting that the government will manage the dump and pledging 14 million euros (20 million) in compensation to residents.
Naples and its environs have suffered for years garbage crisis, the result of corruption, mismanagement and infiltration of the brawl. Three years ago, Berlusconi intervened to help alleviate an emergency caused when collectors stopped going through the trash because the trash cans were full and residents protested against the creation of new deposits.