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Italian Minister Warns of New Blackout Threat

Italy's industry minister has warned of a repeat of Sunday's massive blackout unless the country builds more power plants.

Antonio Marzano told parliament that Italy's energy situation is critical. He said without new sources of energy, the country will be vulnerable to further outages.

The blackout Sunday left almost the entire country without electricity. Only the Mediterranean island of Sardinia and scattered areas on the mainland remained unaffected.

Past government proposals to build more power stations have faced opposition from residents who expressed concern over environmental damage

Italy imports almost 20 percent of its electricity, much of it from Switzerland and France.

Initial reports blamed Sunday's outage on weather-related power line damage in those two countries that caused a chain reaction of power grid failures. But French and Swiss officials insist the problems were on the Italian side of the border.