Infrastructure and Transport Minister Matteo Salvini still defends the bridge over the Strait, and says it will not create problems for animals, birds or fish.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure, Matthew Salvinicontinue to push for the implementation of the Bridge over the Strait of Messina. According to the leader of the League, it is possible to start the works in a short time, even if they cannot be completed within a legislature: “I would like the first excavations to start within two years”he said speaking at the assembly of Alis. “We will evaluate whether to ask for co-financing – he added -. The Sicily region agrees, the Calabria region agrees”. The minister confirmed his willingness to ask for a European co-financingalready on the occasion of the meeting of transport ministers scheduled in Brussels on 5 December.
The minister also responded to the controversies raised by those opposed to the realization of the work also because it could harm the local fauna: “Now someone has said that the bridge over the Strait of Messina could cause problems for birds that would hit it, but the birds are not stupid, they will fly avoiding it”.
The co-spokesperson of Green Europe and deputy of the Green-Left Alliance replied to these words Eleanor Eve: “It cannot be, it is not possible that he really said those words. We are baffled. The Government takes it upon itself to restore seriousness to the dicastery”.
Salvini, participating in the work of another event, Lombardia 2030, reiterated that animals, whether they are birds or fish, should not be an obstacle, because they are able to get used to and adapt to changes: “There is a closed bridge in Sardinia, closed for months, the project is already funded, but everything is at a standstill because there are trout under the bridge. There are often trout in the rivers, but no country blocks the bridges. The trout realizes that the bridge is collapsing and the trout moves 200 meters, then goes back to trout”he said about the Diana bridge in Sardinia. But the Sardinian Union, which has already consulted the Departments for the Environment and Public Works, has verified that no works have been blocked due to “impediments caused by amphibian and/or fish species”.
According to Salvini, however, it is not possible to redo the project from scratch: “The project exists, it needs to be updated but if we start redoing the project, we need four legislatures, not one”.
“The bridge cannot be finished over the next five years, but work can start; I would like the first excavations to start within two years”explained Salvini, announcing a table for discussion on the work also open to the cities of Messina and Regio Calabria, in addition to the shareholders of the Strait of Messina company (Anas, Ferrovie, Regine Calabria and the Sicily Region). “There are disputes that have been ongoing for years that need to be closed”he said about the disputes brought by the two winners of the tender won in 2004 by the Eurolink Consortium and Parsons Transportation, then ‘caducated’ by law in 2012.
“In Maneuver there is the rule that brings the company back to life – continued Salvini – now the goal is this: to bring the company back to life. Then with the bridge we will have real work, and not bonuses or citizen’s income; we are talking about tens of thousands of jobs, we are talking about development for Sicily and Calabria and for all of Italy”.
Sara “the work, I suppose, with the greenest single span in history – continued the Deputy Prime Minister – I’m also going to Brussels on Monday to negotiate a possible co-financing because it was included in the Maneuver that it is a priority work. The regions of Sicily and Calabria agree, and we will also involve the mayors of Messina and Reggio Calabria”.
According to Salvini “if we do it after 50 years, it’s a gift not to entrepreneurs but to our children”. It would also save 140,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, and clean up the waters of the Strait, and transport intermodality would be fast”.