L'Aquila mayor hands back sash in protest at State inaction

'Climate of rage and desperation', quake-city chief says

L'Aquila mayor hands back sash in protest at State inaction

L'Aquila, May 6 - The mayor of L'Aquila handed back his sash Monday to protest the government's failure to deliver on pledges to rebuild the Abruzzo capital after a 2009 earthquake that killed 309 people. Massimo Cialente said he would resign "if the funds we have been waiting for since December don't get here in two weeks". He said there was a "climate of rage and desperation in the city which the representatives of the State have not understood in the slightest". The centre of L'Aquila is a rubble-strewn ghost town almost four years after the quake despite repeated government pledges to repair it. The April 2009 quake razed nearby villages and displaced tens of thousands of people. Many of them have been rehoused in new towns but some are still living with relatives. In October seven members of a quake-warning panel were given jail terms for failing to properly alert citizens to the impending risks of the trembler. They are appealing against a sentence which shocked many in the global scientific community.

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