Cruise Ships at Venice, Total Chaos: A Protest from AmbienteVenezia and Comitato NOGrandiNavi

One day, the best available project for managing cruise ships at Venice is approved by one commission – the next day it is shot down by the Minister of Infrastructure who has other, much more destructive solutions he (and powerful business lobbies) favors. The protest of yet another lost opportunity follows below.


“…unfortunately in Italy power reigns in total chaos: we have only a crowd of incompetent, arrogant people who serve the lobbies of big business, people who do not care for the procedures or the laws which they themselves have signed and which they should respect and care for. The MOSE system is replicating also in the sector of cruise ships! Only one day had passed since the good news that the Commissione VIA had approved the project for a new outer harbor for cruise ships in the mouth of Lido di Piccoli – Duferco, with some marginal requirements. This is the only project that successfully passed the test of the Technical Commission; it is the only project that succeeds in guaranteeing the employment related to cruise ships while respecting the extremely fragile Lagoon environment and minimizing the environmental impacts. It is the only project supported by our organization and the Comitato NOGrandiNavi.

But, the next day, Minister of Infrastructure Delrio, discussing the problem of cruise ships at Venice, let us understand clearly that he does not care at all about the opinion of the Commissione VIA; that he does not care about UNESCO or the requests they have made of the Italian government regarding the Lagoon of Venice, that he does not care about the Procurement Codes which he himself signed recently and which call on the Commissione VIA to project Definitive Projects, not preliminary; that he does not care for bureaucratic procedures; that he does not care about the opinions of technical institutions such as ISPRA (Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), which has rejected plans that call for cruise ships at Porto Marghera, or to excavate a new canal at Tresse, or to bring the ships in on the Canal dei Petroli – all of these carry far too much environmental damage or risk.

Delrio endorses projects that don’t exist or which were already rejected by state technical institutions; he endorses projects that were never introduced but are desired by the cruise ship lobby, which after having acquired shares in VTP now asks for a free hand in areas of Porto Marghera for the arrival of cruise ships.

Delrio has announced that the Committee will meet shortly and that he will propose solutions for the cruise ships that involve either Porto Marghera or the rejected project at Tresse.

However, …there is only one project that resolves the problem of the cruise ships, that which was just approved by the Commissione VIA. The Grand Navi must stay out of the lagoon and stop in an outer harbor at the mouth of the Lido!

Luciano Mazzolin, of the associations AmbienteVenezia and Comitato NOGrandiNavi.

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