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Messina Bridge work may start this summer says CEO

Messina Bridge work may start this summer says CEO

Aim to reach CIPES by June says Pietro Ciucci

ROME, 25 February 2024, 12:01

ANSA English Desk




Work on the controversial Messina Strait Bridge may start this summer, the CEO of the Messina Strait Company, Pietro Ciucci, said on Sunday.
    "We are aiming for the maximum result and the maximum that can be done is to reach the CIPES (interministerial economic policy committee) by June and start work in the summer," said Ciucci, on the sidelines of an event at the rightwing League's political school.
    Ciucci said key documentation just approved by the board of directors is being forwarded to the competent ministries for the relevant conference of services and environmental impact assessments.
    Ciucci assured maximum transparency, saying "the project is public".
    League chief Matteo Salvini, who is pushing the project, said "It is a public work with a unique character: it is being investigated before it has even begun", referring to a probe opened on accusations by the opposition.
    Rome prosecutors on February 21 opened a probe into the plan to build a bridge across the Strait of Messina connecting Sicily to the Italian mainland after a complaint was presented by opposition lawmakers.
    The complaint was filed on February 1 by centre-left Democratic Party (PD) leader Elly Schlein, Nicola Fratoianni of the Italian Left (SI) group and Green MP Angelo Bonelli.
    It regards "planning and implementation activities" for the bridge.
    Premier Giorgia Meloni's government has revived the project to build what would be the world's longest suspension bridge, which had been long delayed due to funding issues as well as fears of mafia infiltration and graft, and seismic and environmental concerns.
    Deputy Premier and Transport Minister Salvini, who has said the bridge will cost no more than 14 billion euros spread over 15 years, blasted the opposition politicians for filing the complaint that triggered the probe.
    "Only in Italy is it possible to wage a political battle over a bridge, a motorway, or the TAV (Turin-Lyon high-speed rail link)," said League leader Salvini.
    "The bridge over the Strait is needed to unite millions of Sicilians (with the rest of Italy), pollute less and travel faster.
    "The Democratic Party made a complaint to the prosecutor's office because we want to build a bridge, which it is the right of millions of Italians to have".
    When asked about the likelihood the bridge would be built, from zero to 100, he replied "100".
    Salvini said "I'm not going to be scared by the Left, some judge or some leftwing journalist", adding that "as long as you let me be a minister I'll go into my office to do the public works this country needs".


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