It took six hours to the city council of Casale Monferrato (a small town in North-West Italy), to approve the acceptance of the 18.3 million euros compensation proposed by one of the two tycoons accused in the Eternit trial. Stephan Schmidheny, this is his name, is a Swiss business man who has been recognized as the head of the asbestos sector of the industry, and who is on trial together with Belgian baron Louis De Cartier for the death of 2.889 people, 1.800 of them living in Casale Monferrato. They were factory workers, but even relatives who came into contact with their overalls and people just living next to the Eternit plant, which used to clean the unbreathable air inside the plant by pushing it outside with powerful pumps.
Even if the information about the lethal effects of asbestos powder were known since 1962, Eternit industry in Casale Monferrato, Cavagnolo (Turin), Broni (Pavia) and Bari kept on producing until 1992, when asbestos production was officially prohibited by the Italian law.
Members of Afeva (Relatives of Asbestos Victims Association, born in 1988) and common citizens – around 300 people – interrupted the city council with their protests many times, but this didn’t persuade the centre-right wing local government to turn back about its decision. With the acceptance of the compensation, the city of Casale Monferrato retires from its position as accuser in the trial and renounces to take any other legal action in the future.
– [en] The trial against Eternit
– [en] World network against asbestos
– [en] Documentary on Eternit – Trailer (by M.Citoni)
– [en] Dust-The great asbestos trial – Movie Trailer
– [it] Association of parents and relativs of the victimsof asbestos
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