Brussels, January 19 - Italy is among nine EU countries that have been called on by Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella to take part in a ministerial summit in Brussels on January 30 to find solutions to the problem of air pollution. Like Italy, the other States, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Britain, face infringement procedures for exceeding agreed air pollution limits. "This meeting on air quality has been called for three reasons," Vella said in a statement. "To protect citizens. To clarify that if there is no improvement of air quality there are legal consequences. And to remind Member States that this step is at the end of a long, some would say too long, period of offers to help, advice given, and warnings made. "Our first responsibility as the Commission is to the millions of Europeans - young and old, sick and healthy - who suffer from poor air quality. "Parents of a child suffering from bronchitis or a daughter of someone with pulmonary disease want to see improvements in air quality as soon as possible. "For them, action plans with a 10-12 year timescale or ineffective plans are useless".
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