On grandi navi the PD is back in charge. And Delrio’s preferred idea comes back.


With the new Minister De Micheli the Marghera solution is now the most favored. Toninelli’s projects will stop.

5 September 2019

By Alberto Vitucci

VENEZIA. Some rise and some fall in the new balances in the giallorosso government. For Venice and the Veneto one of the most important changes is the new leader of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. The vice-secretary of the PD – former undersecretary for the Economy in the Renzi government and commissioner of reconstruction after the earthquake in central Italy – Paola De Micheli has taken the place of the M5S minister Danilo Toninelli, a favorite target of the PD, but also of the Lega. What will change at the Ministry of Porta Pia with the return of a Minster from the PD?

De Micheli, 46, has the reputation of being a “tough” woman. Hers is one of the strategic ministries concerning large infrastructure, highway and road contracts, and maritime traffic. The lagoon will be immediately impacted by decisions about alternate locations for a cruise ship terminal, the Commissioner for MoSE called for by the ‘Sblocca cantieri’ decree, roads and highways.

After a year of open conflict with the Five Star Minister, there is an air of optimism at the Port Authority. “We are not saying anything. We hope to meet with the new Minister as soon as possible”, said a smiling Port Authority President Pino Musolino , “and to be able to have a dialog, and to have actionable policy”.

It is no mystery that the PD – the previous Minister Graziano Delrio but also the local party – has a much different idea than the M5S about grandi navi in the lagoon. Their proposed solution is Marghera, the North side of the North Industrial Canal. This plan was approved by the last Comitatone in 2017, presided over by Delrio, is supported by Mayor Brugnaro, industry and President of the Region Luca Zaia. It is strongly opposed by unions and environmentalists. Toninelli seemed to prefer the idea of “ships out of the lagoon”, only to then consider two provisional solutions located in the lagoon in order to get the ships away from San Marco as quickly as possible. But adapting the banks of Fusina and Lombardia to handle passenger ships would have required work costing at least 800,000 Euro. And nobody has authorized this expense. So it’s all at a standstill. What will happen now with the radical change of leadership at Infrastructure?

It will take several days, commented sources at the Ministry, for list of Undersecretaries to be released, above all the nominations for the Secretary Generals and the Cabinet Heads of the Ministry. Then we’ll begin to understand what will really change.

Among the many issues awaiting the new Minister there is also the infinite question of MoSE. A controversial infrastructure project, mired in delays which this time are certainly not due to lack of resources. The money, almost 6 billion, needed for the work exists. What is lacking is any certainty about its functionality, and work to repair the “problems” discovered in the past few years is required. Encrustation, corrosion of the hinges, water infiltration, broken tubes, work done incorrectly, such as the navigation basin at Malamocco, which cost 370 million Euro but is unusable because it is too small. Or there are the lunate, protective breakwaters which collapsed into the sea in the first storm. Or the ‘jack-up’, equipped to transport the dams, which cost 53 million Euro in 2013 and was only put in service just a few months ago.

There are two Commissioners nominated by Anac di Cantone, a Superintendent of Public Works who is now gone (Linetti has retired but has not been replaced), and a Commissioner of Sblocca Cantieri who has never arrived. The new Minister’s agenda for Venice is already packed.

Source: La Nuova Venezia

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