Opponents of the Lyon-Turin TGV are mobilized

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The Lyon-Turin TGV project in Saint-Martin-de-la-Porte, in Savoy, in August.
The Lyon-Turin TGV project in Saint-Martin-de-la-Porte, in Savoy, in August. Mega / © Mega / KCS PRESS

Saturday, December 8 met in the center of Turin, for what looks like a return meeting. The associations that oppose the construction of high-speed trains Lyon-Turin (TAV), which are challenging this important European project that will bring the capital of Piedmont closer to the third largest city in France, must count and re-mobilize their troops. It is as if, in Turin, after three decades of mobilization, they were losing the battle of opinion.

Reassured by the promise of a flattening of the site, which appears black and white in the government contract concluded at the end of May, between the Lega (right) and the 5-star movement (M5S, antisystem), and the presence at the Minister of Transport Danilo Toninelli, a figure of M5S, historically opposed to the project, the "no-TAV" was faced with an unexpected phenomenon: the birth of a defense movement of the building site, which also chose to occupy the public space. Four weeks earlier, on November 10th, there were 30,000 to 40,000 people in the city center, for what appeared to be both a large gathering of locals and the first major mobilization against the Conte government.

Read also Franco-Italian Divergence on Lyon-Turin

Launched in response to a municipal council resolution declaring Turin "No-TAV municipality", without the official support of a trade union or a political party and around the simple slogan "If, Turin is going forward" ("Yes, Turin goes on"), the gathering met a success of an unexpected magnitude, to the point of awakening in the city the memory of the "march of 40,000", a demonstration of 1980 against the excesses of a movement of Fiat Strike that historians consider today a turning point in the history of the city, at the same time as the beginning of the end of the Italian Communist Party.

Waiting for the result of a "cost-benefit analysis"

Since the success of the event on 10 November, the pressure on the M5S, whose opposition to the site is one of the historical markers, has not diminished. On Monday 3 December, the head of Confindustria, the Italian equivalent of Medef, invited the President of the Council, Giuseppe Conte, to "Convince his deputy prime minister, [Luigi Di Maio, dirigeant politique du mouvement] or to resign. An offensive that forced the M5S, suddenly aware of its isolation, to reach the project's supporters by releasing part of the ballast.

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