Mercoledì, 19 Settembre 2018

Strait of Messina bridge not a priority, minister says


Rome, May 2 - Italian Industry Minister Flavio
Zanonato said on Thursday that building a bridge across the
Strait of Messina to connect mainland Italy to Sicily, an
erstwhile dream of former premier Silvio Berlusconi, is not a
priority for the new government given the current economic
Italy's grand-coalition government, which was sworn in on
Sunday, is facing huge challenges with the country in the midst
of its longest recession in 20 years.
Speaking to state broadcaster's Radio 2 programme, Zanonato
said that while the bridge was an interesting project, it ''is
absolutely not a priority for Italy''.
The planned 8.5-billion-euro suspension bridge was
Berlusconi's brainchild.
Last year the technocrat government of former premier Mario
Monti, who replaced Berlusconi during a peak in the euro crisis
in November 2011, decided not to cancel the controversial bridge
project but to extend feasibility tests for another two years.
Supporters say the bridge would create jobs and boost
Italy's image while bringing Sicily closer to the mainland.
But the bridge has been opposed by environmentalists and
dogged by concerns over safety and the potential involvement of
the Mafia.
The 3,690-metre-long bridge has been designed to handle
4,500 cars and hour and 200 trains a day.

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