ROME - Mayors of Italian towns near the port designated as a transit site for Syria's chemical arsenal said on Friday they would protest at the decision unless they were guaranteed maximum security against any environmental or health risk.
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"We want to make sure safety measures are at the maximum level and we want the government to better inform us so we can reassure our residents. If we are not better informed, then there will be protests," said Rosarno Mayor Elisabetta Tripodi.
The chemicals are being sent to Italy under an accord brokered by Russia and the United States after poison gas attacks in Syria's civil war in August that killed hundreds of people. The nerve gas agents are to be later destroyed at sea.
The Italian government has chosen Gioia Tauro, the country's biggest container port located in the southern region of Calabria, to move 560 tons of Syria's "priority A" chemicals from a Danish ship to an American one.