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Thursday, 26 April 2012 13:57

In Italy completed asbestos case.

  16 years in prison for the Swiss billionaire and the Belgian baron. In Turin ended one of the most high-profile trials - the so-called asbestos case. Residents of a small Italian town were able to prove the connection between the production of asbestos at a local company and malignant tumors. More than three thousand residents have already died from cancer. The court's decision set a precedent - manufacturers of asbestos are now able to judge and in other countries. From Italy - Maxim Drabok.

Her family is now just a wall of photographs. Husband. Daughter. Two sisters. Nephew. All of them were swallowed asbestos dust. They died from cancer.

- I have no more tears to cry.

Novel Blasotti - 83. She - the symbol of the tragedy of a small Italian town, suffering from the effects of industrial production.

Roman Blasotti Pavese - President of the Association of Families and victims of asbestos in Casale Monferrato:

My daughter has not crossed the threshold of the plant. But asbestos has claimed her life. Each year we bury more than fifty people. This is a very tangible for our small town.

The association of families and victims of asbestos for many years trying to prove a link between the work of the plant and the deaths of local residents. In one room - a sad archive.

White folders - they are workers who have already died. Pink - city dwellers who have not worked at the plant, but also died. Yellow - is still alive working, but with a diagnosis of mesothelioma.

Pleural Mesothelioma - a form of cancer. The disease affects the tissues surrounding the lungs. Shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain - these are the first symptoms. In oncologist Mario Botta the table littered with tests. Local residents are constantly examined.

Mario Botta, head of the oncology department at the hospital Casale:

In this town everyone lives in fear: is sick - not sick. With the usual coughs and colds - immediately ran to the survey. Positive in only one - early detection of cancer. The operation of the first stage can prolong life. But as a rule, no more than three years.

Culprit here is the enterprise of the company "Eternit". At the beginning of last century - Europe's largest asbestos cement factory. The town of Casale Monferrato rapidly developed. But now, decades later, local residents have to pay their own health for the past economic benefits. Asbestos - a fibrous mineral. It is made mittens for steelworkers, fire protective clothing, thermal insulation for pipes and slate.

Asbestos factory was closed for a quarter of a century ago. Now this wasteland. But this echo - from the impacts of local residents are suffering still. And the small Italian town of Casale Monferato still referred to as "the capital of asbestos and the white death."

More than three thousand people have died. Yet twice as many local residents may not know that they are ill. According to the experts, cancer manifests itself in 30-40 years. In place of asbestos factory now want a park in memory of the victims.

Nicola Pondrano in the 70 worked at the plant. Book shows where in the comics shows the struggle of workers for their rights. Nicola realized that this production - it is dangerous to health. And one of the first to organize protests.

Nicola Pondrano - former factory worker, union leader:

I was punished. I had to clean toilets for what I wanted to improve working conditions. But we have important: with the oncologist, we have to fix cases and sue.

At the courthouse in Turin - posters with the names of victims of asbestos. This week, the factory owners were given 16 years in prison. Swiss billionaire and the Belgian baron convicted for what they caused damage to the environment and subjected to deadly risk their jobs. The judge read out more than three hours of the verdict.

Linda Raynshtayn, co-founder of the organization to recognize the threat of asbestos:

This is a victory. It gives us an opportunity to be expected of such verdicts are now not only in Italy but worldwide. Asbestos - a carcinogen and it is not safe. The court decision means a criminal offense. Involvement in the spread of asbestos - is a crime.

The court also sentenced to pay tens of millions of euros of compensation to the families of the victims. But the decision of the court - only the first instance. Will have to wait for the appeal and the final verdict of more than one year.

Enrico Ferraris - a lawyer, a resident of Casale Monferrato:

They never get into prison. One of the owners of the plant - 91 years old. In this age do not put behind bars. To collect the money will also be very difficult. They do not have property in Italy. One of them lives in Costa Rica. And there is no extradition treaty.

She threatened to fight to asbestos. Fernanda 30 years proves in his homeland - in Brazil, that this material is very harmful. Especially arrived in Italy for the experience. Along with China and Russia, Brazil - the largest producer of asbestos in the world.

Fernanda Dzhiannazi - inspector on working conditions:

Drinking water in many places is still flowing through aqueducts that used asbestos. This material is very much on the roofs of houses. He - the cheaper and poor people buy it without knowing about the problem.

City Hall closes the roof. Here, the roof of asbestos and without. Already spent 39 million euros to clean up the city. Need the same amount. Lawyers for asbestos plant hosts before the new year the city offered 18 million euros - if only the victims were taken from the court proceedings. Here is a city council meeting at which Mayor agreed. But angry residents of Casale Monferrato protested this decision. They began to throw in a little thing the mayor, calling him a Judas. The mayor has denied the charges. Says it was a real way to get compensation.

Giorgio Demetstsi - Mayor of Casale Monferrato:

It has been much speculation surrounding this decision. Adoption of the money we have not seen as disrespectful to the victims of asbestos, as well as an opportunity for the city to get money to clean the houses and streets. It was just one way to solve the problem.

This is the first meeting after the trial affected by the plant. The whole room is filled to capacity. Each household in the city has lost a loved one. The court case is won, but the special joy in the eyes of the people there. The struggle for justice is not over yet. Asbestos, which is translated from the Greek "indestructible" - continues to destroy their lives.

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