Following the recent collapse of the Morandi bridge in Genoa, the Italian government has announced its plan to launch a national level project for improving the safety of motorways, bridges and schools. Sources close to the matter confirmed that the massive infrastructure plan would commence next month and would be an unprecedented maintenance operation, with heavy investment in public works.
Records indicate that the Genoa bridge collapse resulted in the death of 43 people, with investigative authorities claiming that the Italian state had failed in ensuring the safety of roads. On the heels of a countrywide debate regarding the responsibility for the collapse, Italy’s government has pinned the blame on Autostrade per l’Italia, the firm that managed the Morandi bridge as well as nearly half of the nation’s motorways.
According to information released by the company, it initially allocated €500m for rebuilding the Morandi bridge and to help the people of Genoa recover from the disaster. Further, the company has also promised it would fulfill its commitment and complete the reconstruction work within the next eight months.
However, Luigi di Maio and Matteo Salvini, deputy prime ministers of Italy, have seemingly rejected Autostrade’s offer saying the state will not agree to take the company’s handouts. The government instead demands more deserving compensation as the company is fully liable and, further plans to take away all profitable contracts from Autostrade, which reportedly services a total of 3,020 km out of the country’s 7,000 km length of motorway network.
Giancarlo Giorgetti, undersecretary to the prime minister’s office, confirmed that the upcoming national infrastructure project would be launched by the next month, although he did not disclose exact details. Commenting on the project investment, he said the GDP, trade deficits, or any European rules shall not have any effect on the project, while hinting that he expects the European Union to provide generous funding.