Sabato, 16 Febbraio 2019
Dimensione testo

Legambiente slams suspending ban on big Venice cruise ships


Venice, March 18 - Italy's leading environmental
group accused a regional court of recklessness on Tuesday for
suspending a ban on large cruise ships in Venice's fragile
"It is certainly not a good sign, and it is the result of a
reckless choice of recent years that has created the practice of
channelling cruise ships in an environment where they should be
banned," said Legambiente.
On Monday a regional administrative court agreed to suspend
the ban submitted by companies operating in the port of Venice,
including members of the cruise ship industry, which is a major
employer in the local tourism-driven economy.
The ban was imposed late last year as a response to the
crash of the Costa Concordia cruise ship off the Tuscan island
of Giglio, which killed 32 people and inflicted severe
environmental and archeological damage.
Similar limits had already been enacted in every other port
city in Italy after the wreck, where the cruise-ship industry
carries less influence.
The regional administrative court said the ban in Venice
was inappropriate due to a lack of alternate routes for large
cruise ships.
The issue will be reopened at a hearing in June.
"Now the government must hurry up and find solutions and
take immediate measures for the good of the city and the lagoon
ecosystem," said Legambiente.
"Port operations must be reworked, moving the home port to
(the nearby town of) Marghera, far from the fragile heart of the a new future to the city".
Environmentalists have long warned that the lagoon
surrounding Venice, itself a UNESCO heritage site, is at great
Other experts warn that the thousand-year-old underwater
wooden piles that prop up the city would crumble like toothpicks
under the weight of a 114,500-ton cruise ship like the Costa
In addition, liners ushering tourists into the heart of the
city disrupt the extremely fragile foundation of Venice and its
medieval monuments by displacing massive amounts of water in the
shallow lagoon.
Over 650 cruise ships pass through the city annually.
The ban would tighten daily limits on cruise liners, with
no more than five ships over 40,000 tonnes allowed passage,
obliging many ships to find alternative docking outside the city

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