INTRODUCTION: One year after the south of italy was hit by earth tremors, the region is undergoing a massive reconstruction and re-building programme.
VARIOUS, SOUTHERN ITALY (VISNEWS - ANGELO FIORI)
GV Prefabs in earthquake area
GV Caravan PAN TO portakabins in area with washing strung out, and women with children. (2 SHOTS)
GV ZOOM OUT Side of cliff with demolished houses PAN DOWN TO flowers on rubble
GV PAN Houses surrounded by rubble with state of Virgin mary intact
GV Village and building materials still in wrappers. (2 SHOTS)
GV PAN Building materials. (2 SHOTS)
SV ZOOM OUT TO GV Caravans
GV PAN Pre-fabricated village
SV INTERIOR Empty house
GV PAN Reconstruction work
SV & GV TRACKING SHOT Wooden hoses built
SV INTERIOR Worker inside house
GV ZOOM OUT PAN Newly-built houses
Background: INTRODUCTION: One year after the south of italy was hit by earth tremors, the region is undergoing a massive reconstruction and re-building programme. The disaster, which affected a large part of the south, including Naples, ripped apart an area the size of Belgium. It killed 3,000 people and left a quarter of a million homeless. One year later, amid rumours of corruption and crime, the victims are still divided about how the vast amounts of aid which poured into the country are being used.
SYNOPSIS: The earthquake, known locally as "The Crater", left large areas of complete devastation. Survivors attempting to reconstruct their lives, have been housed in pre-fabricated buildings and portable homes. At the time of the calamity, the Christian Democrat government was criticised for the slowness of its response to the disaster.
Although the tremors were predicted, southern Italy was totally unprepared. One of the first official pronouncements after the earthquake was that victims would be allowed to delay paying their telephone and electricity bills. A mood of resigned gloom hangs over the area now, many survivors have been re-housed, but others still live in caravans or are staying with family and friends. Wall posters have appeared in Laviano, one of the worst-hit villages, accusing the Mayor of allocating homes to friends rather than to the needy.
Over two billion (US) dollars' worth of aid has poured into the region. 18,000 pre-fabricated houses have been built and new roads snake through the mountains. However, the survivors are bitter and complain the cash is being unfairly divided. The city of Naples was severely damaged by the 'quake.
Over 150,000 Neapolitans had to evacuate their homes. The city which already had the highest unemployment rate in Italy, was close to urban anarchy. The special earthquake commissioner, Giuseppe Zamberletti, has had a trying year. He has promised 20,000 new homes will be built in Naples over the next two years. Thousands of the unemployed are paid to shore up buildings in the city, which is at the centre of the country's most seismic region.
The re-building programme is open to exploitation. The highest levels of the Camorra - the Neapolitan Mafia - are finding the huge sums of external aid flowing into the city hard to resist. Naples has recorded over two hundred murders this year - a record. The city's mayor has hit out at the Camorra speculators who raised the price of cement bags. Local politician; Andrea Geremicca, has said too many people are trying to get their hands on the city. In the villages, the reconstruction work has resulted in Swiss-style chalets. This region of Italy has been ignored by central government for years. The young people rarely stayed in the villages - they moved to the north of the country or to Germany for work. Now the Communist party is founding co-operative farms to persuade them to stay on the land.
InitialsJS Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved