Italy to punish skiers over avalanches

Italy's government has proposed punishing skiers and snowboarders who trigger deadly avalanches with jail terms.

Italy to punish skiers over avalanches

Italy's government has proposed punishing skiers and snowboarders who trigger deadly avalanches with jail terms, after eight deaths on Italian slopes over the weekend.

Experts have blamed imprudent off-trail skiers for setting off avalanches that caused the deaths -- and injuries to many more -- in popular ski areas, which newspapers have dubbed the "white massacre" and "black year for off-trail skiers".

"There have been far too many incidents on the slopes," Tourism Minister Michela Vittoria Brambilla said on Monday, recommending prison terms in the most serious cases.

The new measures, proposed by Italy's civil protection agency which sends in rescue crews, have been presented as an amendment to legislation being discussed in parliament.

They also include a 5,000-euro fine for those who ignore meteorological warnings and venture off piste.

But the plan was immediately attacked by ski and mountain aficionados including renowned mountain climber Reinhold Messner, who called it a "hysterical reaction" that risked killing off mountain sports.

Consumer group Codacons also called the measures "ridiculous", saying laws already existed to take irresponsible skiers to task.


Reuters

Last Mod: 09 Şubat 2010, 13:11
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