Quake-hit Italy to adopt tough law against looting

April 9th, 2009 - 4:10 am ICT by IANS  

L’Aquila (Italy), April 9 (Xinhua) The Italian government will adopt a new anti-looting law which will stiffen penalties for anyone caught stealing in the quake-hit areas, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Wednesday.
The premier said that people here were extremely worried about looting in homes which had to be evacuated.

“We still don’t know what name to give to the crime but I can tell you right now that penalties will be very stiff,” Berlusconi told reporters after visiting quake-hit L’Aquila city, some 95 km northwest of the capital Rome.

Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said Tuesday that over 10,000 beds had been arranged for the homeless in hotels along the Abruzzo coast.

“However, many of the homeless have preferred to stay in the area and sleep in their cars because they are, understandably, concerned about looting,” he said.

In order to protect people from looting, Maroni said an additional 200 police personnel and Carabinieri had been sent in and their number would be increased after several cases of looting were reported Monday.

Meanwhile, the death toll in Monday’s devastating earthquake, which centred near L’Aquila, has crossed 250-mark. Rescue and relief measures were underway in the area.

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