Right a month before the beginning of the trial, a new proposal has been made by Becon (a firm linked to Schmidheiny) in order to pay compensation to the citizens of Casale victims of the asbestos and enrolled in the list of the trial.
It would be the first time ever that such an offer is made to people who have never worked with Eternit. The acceptance of this offer automatically decree the exit from the plaintiff.
The offer amounts up to 30,000 € to each victim who has lived in Casale since 1973 (when the Swiss management started) and who have got ill after 1988 (the minimum incubation time of 15 years). Up to now there haven't been many positive answers: the victims or their heirs wouldn't accept because for most of them there's no statute of limitations.
According to the Becon, the offer" has been made considering the high number of victims in that community", underlining anyway the fact that this offer is made as " a sign of solidarity", in fact, says the Becon, during the period of the Swiss management of Eternit, the distribution of "polverino" (the asbestos powder main or maybe only responsible for the pollution in Casale Monferrato) had already stopped.
The Association of Asbestos Victims Families of Casale Monferrato and its President Ms Romana Blasotti Pavesi are firmly against the proposal. After stopping the negotation for one only global compensation by Becon, 2 years ago, this is the second time that a one-side compensation is offered, again without negotation or agreement.
The amount affored is anyway too small if compared to the damage and doesn't include the victims who have never lived in Casale, so what about them?
Those are the defendant's manoeuvre to impoverish the plaintiff and many people they're going for the money (especially the former employeers who know that the crime cease to be valid as a result of the statute of limitations).
But many others not, and we'll have a plaintiff representative of the huge tragedy of the epidemic.
The Association, however, points out that the offer means an admission of responsibility for this huge and unbelievable massacre. The struggle will continue.