Bathing has been officially forbidden in 27 coastal spas along the Italian Riviera near Genoa but Genoa's civic officials and the local populace are ignoring the warnings.
GV People on beach with sign in fore-ground "Divieto di Balneazyono."
SV Bathers in sea (2 shots)
SV Children stand at water's edge as water laps beach
SV Policeman talking with bathers
GV Building site near beach
CU Sign on another beach PAN TO bathers
SV Children on edge of water and people swimming (2 shots)
GV Crowds on beach
TV PAN ALONG rocks TO people sunbathing
CU PAN FROM policeman TO crowded beach
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Background: Bathing has been officially forbidden in 27 coastal spas along the Italian Riviera near Genoa but Genoa's civic officials and the local populace are ignoring the warnings.
A dispute has developed over conflicting reports on whether the beaches in fact are hazardous or not as dangerous as health inspectors have said they are.
The Mayor has come up with expert reports to back his contention that the beaches are safe, but magistrates, often depending on little used pollution laws, contend that the water at some of the beaches is hundreds of times more polluted that the legal pollution limit permits.
With authorities divided on the subject, people are continuing to use the beaches, although many tourists are convinced by the warning signs that swimming is unsafe and have been demanding their money back.
To complicate matters further, police who accompanied the health inspectors who initially found the beaches polluted, now say the health inspectors did not take correct samples.
Furthermore, some experts have pointed out that the pollution standards approved by the European Common Market permit a substantially higher level of pollution than Italian laws.
Last year, 38 of the 80 beaches around Genoa were closed because of pollution.
In 1972, a United Nations study of the Mediterranean said sewage pollution was particularly severe from Barcelona, Spain, to Livorno in Italy.
Italy has been trying to combat the problem. There is a filtering plant under construction in the Genoa area and 10,000,000 pound sterling (22,000,000 U.S. dollars) is being spent to develop a sewage treatment complex for the Bay of Naples alone.