New Italian push on environmental crime

Cross-party group of MPs attempts to revive failed proposal to codify green offences, strengthen penalties

A cross-party group of Italian MPs has revived proposals to crack down on illegal activities causing environmental damage by creating a new definition of environmental crime in the country's penal code and strengthening penalties. The initiative is being spearheaded by Ermete Realacci of the centre-left Margherita grouping, who is also president of leading environmental group Legambiente.

Environmental crime is a subject of abiding interest in Italy, where criminal groups' involvement in environmentally damaging activities is estimated by Legambiente to be worth some euros 13bn annually. Mr Realacci and allies are looking to turn the tide by retabling proposals made by the environment ministry in 1998 (EED 23/03/98), and which subsequently lost their way in the legislative process (EED 19/06/00).

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