The government of Giorgia Meloni wants to implement a controversial project
The construction of a bridge from mainland Italy to Sicily will now be carried out. All attempts in the past have failed.
The project to build a bridge to Sicily dates back to the time of the Roman Empire.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s government has revived a controversial multibillion-euro bridge project to link Sicily with the mainland. The Cabinet approved a similar decree on Thursday, and Parliament has 60 days to turn it into law.
Transport Minister Matteo Salvini said the 3.2-kilometre-long bridge “will represent a pioneer of Italian engineering”. The idea of constructing this bridge dates back to the time of the Roman Empire. Subsequent attempts to tackle the project failed.
The bridge aims to boost the economy in the south of the country
Meloni’s right-wing coalition believes the bridge is key to boosting the economy in the country’s poorer south. However, there are doubts about its structural viability in the seismic region between Messina and Calabria, due to the environmental impact and because of the high costs.
Salvini stressed that the project, which was last considered in 2011, will “adapt to new technical safety and environmental standards”. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, whose government strongly supported the project in the 2000s and whose Forza Italia party is now back in the ruling coalition, said on Thursday that such a structure would “connect Sicily not only with Calabria but with Italy and the whole of Europe”. For Berlusconi, construction could start in mid-2024.
Currently, the only way to get from the island to the mainland is by ferry or plane. Supporters of the plan argue that a bridge with rails could reduce pollution and save time in moving people and goods. However, environmentalists reject the plans and prefer to electrify the area’s existing train network.
AFP / sys
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