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TERZIGNO, Italy: Mayors from the Naples region mired in a garbage crisis rejected a compromise offer by Italian authorities Sunday to freeze the opening of a waste dump in exchange for an end to violent protests.
"We decided not to sign the (compromise) document without additional guarantees that a second dump at Terzigno will not be opened, as requested by our people," the mayor of nearby Boscoreale, Gennaro Langella, said.
Hundreds of people had joined more demonstrations late Saturday in Terzigno and overnight several dozen protestors hurled rocks at police who responded with tear gas, according to footage broadcast by Sky TG-24 television.
At least six officers have been injured in the clashes, officials said.
In a bid to calm tensions over the waste crisis, Italy's top security chief Guido Bertolaso late Saturday signed the plan to halt delivery of waste to the tip at Terzigno for three days to allow for an "analysis of health and environmental issues".
It also called for the decision on whether to open a second garbage tip to be postponed indefinitely provided the demonstrations stop.
Bertolaso's "indefinite freeze" is rejected by demonstrators who want the project to be scrapped altogether.
Langella spoke on Sunday after meeting with Bertolaso and leaders of the Campania region around Naples, Italy's third biggest city.
Langella said he continued to be open to talks, as Terzigno mayor Domenico Auricchio called for calm.
"I urge people to trust the state and put an end to the violence," said Auricchio. "Violence and vandalism do not serve anybody's interest."
Gutted refuse lorries and trash bags slit open littered streets in the area on Sunday.
A new meeting between Bertolaso and the mayors in Naples was scheduled for Tuesday.
Bertolaso said Sunday that the opening of a second tip was no longer on the agenda for the time being.
"We wanted to delay the opening till December 2011 but the mayors thought that this was not enough so we agreed on an indefinite freeze," he said.
The protesters' blockade of Terzigno's existing dump has caused 2,400 tonnes of rubbish to pile up in the streets of Naples.
The proposed new dump, the biggest in Europe, would be 800 metres (875 yards) from the edge of Terzigno in the Vesuvius National Park, some 135 square kilometres (52 square miles) of outstanding natural beauty in the Bay of Naples.
The protected area of rare wildlife and plants includes Mount Vesuvius, best known for its volcanic eruption in 79 AD that destroyed the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
The long-running waste issue has been blamed on a lack of local incinerators, and landfill sites controlled by the local mafia, the Camorra, some of which were used for the illegal dumping of toxic waste.
European Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said Saturday Italy faced legal action by the European Union and massive fines for failing to improve waste management around Naples.
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