Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018

Bridge over strait of Messina runs up against last deadline


Rome, February 28 - Former Premier Silvio
Berlusconi's erstwhile dream of building a bridge across the
Strait of Messina, connecting mainland Italy to Sicily, looks
likely to remain just that after Industry Minister Corrado
Passera on Thursday said the contract agreement it was seeking
to hammer out with a general contractor expires Friday.
"In November we made a decree which set the conditions
under which we could keep the project open. We gave ourselves
four months, until March 1, to reformulate the deal with the
general contractor and up till now, unfortunately, there have
been no concrete signs of a willingness to proceed as the law
set out, so the contract will come to an end," Passera said.
In November a Chinese group, China Communication
Construction Company, was reported to be interested in the
8.5-billion-euro project to build the bridge.
Pietro Ciucci, the chief executive of the Italian firm
charged with studying the project's feasibility, said at the
time that there was a memorandum of understanding with the
Chinese group but said it was "not a contract or commitment, but
it shows there is interest on the part of the market" for the
bridge's construction.

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