Entrance fee regulation is approved

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The discussion of the fee took place Tuesday at Ca’ Farsetti. An exemption for those born in Venice was confirmed, as well as for fans arriving to attend sporting events.

26 Feb. 2019

A challenging discussion took place Tuesday in Council at Ca’ Farsetti, regarding the entrance fee introduced in the 2019 Budget law. It began at 9:30 and continued through the day, up to the approval of the regulation by majority in the evening. 22 of the 33 councilors voted in favor, 5 against. A resolution for the immediate application of the provision passed with the same outcome. The amendments presented by the opposition were almost all rejected. The exemption for those born in Venice but living elsewhere passed. The PD (Democratic Party) abstained from the vote. The 5 Stelle voted against, and defined the measure on social media as “a mess”.

Non-tourism Reasons

“We proposed exemption from the fee in the case of residents’ weddings or other celebrations, for people who have appointments with professionals who have offices in the old city, for attendees of scientific and cultural meetings, and in general for reasons other than tourism – explained the leader of the PD in Council, Monica Sambo – The administration has rejected all of these, but has decided to offer a discount to guests at hotels in Veneto. So this complicates the residents’ lives and helps the thousands of hotels in the Region, what’s more without regulating the flow of tourists at all. That being the case, we support an entrance fee because those who visit the city should contribute, but we do not agree with the application that is called for in this regulation. We have also requested that ferries and taxis should collect the tax directly, but instead the administration has decided they can refuse and that the City should collect it, thus adding administrative expenses and overhead”.

All in agreement about the fans

“Clients in Veneto hotels can get a 50% discount on the fee, excluding the minimum – reiterates Davide Scano, leader of the 5 Stelle in Council – Tourists from hotels in Marcon, Spinea, Padova, Abano Terme are welcomed, even those who, in the summer, arrive from the coast in bathing suits. But hasn’t Brugnaro perhaps justified the construction of the hostels on via Ca’ Marcello, the 500 rooms at Tronchetto, or the new 700 rooms at track 1 of the station, with the intention of having tourists lodge in the city rather than elsewhere? Maybe, in deference to the orders of Zaia and Confindustria he changed his mind. The PD’s amendments, which were also supported by M5S, were meant to exempt those who are residents outside the region, so they can visit the professional offices of lawyers, accountants, physiotherapists, or psychologists who, by their own misfortune (we might say), practice their professions in Venice or the minor islands, but they were blocked. In short, with the entrance fee we make Venice less and less of a city and more and more like a theme park. The one thing that everyone in City Council agreed on: the fans of the guest team being hosted here will be exempt from paying the entrance fee to Venice. What a shame that the rule goes only for organized fan groups that go to the soccer stadium by vaporetto. Those who go, instead, in their own vehicles, to see a basketball game, or rugby, will have to pay the fee, up to 10 Euro. Basically, it’s a mess”.

Limited Traffic Zone

Also approved, with 21 votes in favor, was the resolution that confirmed the institution of a Limited Traffic Zone (Ztl) for motor vehicles coming to the old city of Venice: the act declares that there will be a charge for access to the old city “by private motor vehicles, with the goal of preserving the historic heritage and the environment of the lagoon”. The resolution further gives the administration the mandate to “approve the access charges” and to adopt, together with the relevant city Directors, “provisions for the implementation of a computerized system for the payment of fees and for electronic monitoring of the entrances to the limited traffic zone of the old city of Venice”.

Disobedience

“We didn’t ask for this tax and we don’t believe that it’s the right way to deal with a problem – writes Gruppo 25 Aprile in response to the news of the rejection of the amendments that they in part helped write – the problem of the carrying capacity of the city has become that of the spending capacity of those who, for thousands of reasons (not necessarily as tourists), come to visit Venice, and transforms access to the city into merchandise for sale. In our judgment the way in which the mechanism has been laid out by the administration will mean further difficulties and bureaucratic obstacles for those who will have to demonstrate that they are exempt from the tax. In the course of the debate in City Council the administration showed itself to be deaf to all, adopting an attitude that seemed bent only on hurrying to make money this year”. The association intends to “oppose the application of the regulation when it goes in to force, even demonstrating and engaging in civil disobedience when it comes to the self-certification that will be required of residents”. They have a logo ready with the writing: “Tassa di sbarco? Not in my name”.

Source: Venezia Today


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