Italy recalls 2016 quake as rebuilding effort picks up pace

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ROME (AP) — Italian Premier Mario Draghi has paid tribute to the nearly 300 victims of a 2016 earthquake that devastated entire towns in central Italy. Draghi laid a commemorative wreath at the monument to victims on the fifth anniversary of the disaster. The 6.2-magnitude earthquake that struck Amatrice and nearby towns was the first of more than a dozen temblors that rattled much of central Italy over the following months and left thousands of people homeless. Government officials vowed to rebuild Amatrice’s crumbled historic center and other nearby towns, but Italy’s notorious bureaucracy slowed the effort to a crawl. Recently, though, the government-appointed commissioner for reconstruction announced that the project was speeding up.

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