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Olive groves in Italy become battleground over controversial gas pipeline

The sun-dappled olive groves of Italy’s deep south have become a battleground as riot police and protesters clash over the building of an ambitious gas pipeline.

Tension over the uprooting of centuries-old olive trees to make way for the pipeline boiled over on Tuesday, as police armed with batons and shields charged hundreds of protesters in an olive grove in the region of Puglia, in the heel of the Italian boot.

The 545 mile-long Trans Adriatic Pipeline, or TAP, will bring natural gas from Azerbaijan in the Caucasus to Italy, but it has proved controversial.

Protesters have called for it to be re-routed so as to avoid an area where people rely on tourism and olive oil for their livelihoods.

The clashes broke out near the village of Melendugno, south of the elegant Baroque town of Lecce, where protesters are trying to block the uprooting of hundreds of olive trees.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE – Article published by ‘The Telegraph’

olive groves photo

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