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Italy takes care of DU victims

April 20th, 2009

My friend, Shannon rudolf, keeps me posted  on DU:

Follow-up:   EUR30m to 1703 veterans (77 dead) : DU compensation
   Posted by: “Kazashi” nkazashi@yahoo.com nkazashi
   Date: Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:40 pm ((PST))

Dear all,

  Feb. 17 a Japanese syndicated media, Kyodo Press, reported that
they asked the Italian Ministry of Defense about the DU compensation
approved by Italian Cabinet on Dec. 18, 2008, about which ICBUW has
already reported as below based on a report by Stefania Divertito,
journalist and a member of ICBUW Steering Committee.

  According to the answer Kyodo Press received, the number of
Italian veterans suffering from serious diseases like cancers and
regarded as entitled to this compensation package is 1,703, among
whom 77  have already passed away. The areas where these veterans
were deployed include Bosnia, Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and
Iraq. The Italian government is trying to make  standards for
compensation to the veterans and the bereaved by March and start
payments then.
  This follow-up news by Kyodo Press has already been taken up by
several papers in Japan.  For your reference.

                     Kazashi,
                     ICBUW, NO DU Hiroshima Project

***
EUR30m veterans´ DU compensation package approved by Italian Cabinet
Italian compensation package agreed after Ministry of Defence
convinces government of link between ill health and DU exposure.
Health survey of personnel who served overseas to be published in the
next few months.

9 January 2009 – ICBUW
During a meeting of the Italian Cabinet on the 18th December 2008,
the Italian Ministry of Defence, Ignazio La Russa, managed to win
approval for a EUR30m compensation package for DU victims. The money
will be paid out over the next three years.

In addition to the financial assistance for sick veterans, the
decision acknowledges that some service personnel have become ill
through exposure to uranium weapons. At a press conference following
the Cabinet meeting, the Ministry said: “It’s a duty for us to
support the soldiers and their families, victims of depleted uranium
and nano-particles.” This important statement was largely ignored by
the mainstream media.

The decision marks the final step of a process begun by the previous
Prodi government who appointed an investigative commission. The
commission finished its work in March 2008 and while it didn´t name
DU as a definitive cause of ill health among veterans, it did find
that environmental pollution in war zones where DU had been used as a
likely cause of illness.

The commission also stated that the burden of proof should be
inverted, concluding that proof that the service personnel had been
deployed in areas where DU had been used was sufficient evidence to
support compensation when they later got ill or when heavy metal nano-
particles were found in their bodies. This important move has been of
great help to the families of soldiers who have died and to personnel
ill with leukaemia who are suing the state administration.

One such compensation case was that of the widow of helicopter pilot
Stefano Melone. In December, and after many years of fighting, the
High Court finally agreed to a compensation package for his death.

However, in spite of the Cabinet´s decision, two major issues still
remain, both concern the health assessment of Italian personnel who
have returned to Italy after missions abroad.

Hundreds of officials have been involved in collecting and collating
data on ill soldiers from each Italian military district and the
results are overdue. The data has been collected in paper format and
the thousands of often incomplete paper files are slowly being
transferred into digital format. The original deadline for the survey
was October 2008 and Defence Ministry staff are working hard to
complete the survey. The results – the first complete screening of
Italian personnel – are expected to be publicly announced in a few
months. It is hoped that the results will give a clearer picture of
the extent of ill health among Italian veterans.

In addition to the health assessment being published later than
planned, veterans groups, including Osservatorio Militare and
Anavafaf have complained that the data will be incomplete. The
investigation only covers the decade between 1996 and 2006, this
means it will exclude the years when Italian troop were deployed in
Bosnia and Somalia – 1994 and 1995 respectively.

This year will be an important one for the Italian scientific
committee nominated by the government at the end of 2007 and whose
work has been delayed for a year. The committee includes nuclear
energy expert Prof. Massimo Zucchetti, nano-particle researcher Maria
Antonietta Gatti and the epidemiologist Valerio Gennaro.

 

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