Contractors have been asked to cover the CVN’s deficit. Legacoop and Ance: “It’s absurd – we are already advancing payments for 20 million. The State must change direction or everything is at risk of failure”
By Carlo Di Gennaro
29 April 2021
MoSE completed within a year? It’s a fantasy. The work is practically at a halt, and soon there may not even be the manpower available to activate it. “The construction work is stopped, just like payments to the companies in the consortium have been for a long time. Until now the companies have met their obligations, they have raised the dams when it was necessary. All “gratis”, without being paid. But soon this may no longer be the case, because they are close to bankruptcy”. This is the warning from the director of Legacoop Veneto, Mirko Pizzolato, and the president of Ance Venezia, Giovanni Salmistrari, the chief representatives of the companies working on MoSE: around 70 entities that count 1500 workers, the backbone of the entire system.
In recent days the last straw arrived: a letter from Massimo Miani, commissioner of CVN, which asks the businesses of the consortium to cover the consortium’s “deficit”, around 58 million Euro. “In addition to the damage, the insult – commented the company representatives – is that CVN already owes the companies more than 20 million Euro, more than a year overdue, and now demands we take on their deficit”. In reality it’s required: “We understand the technical formality of Miani’s request – say Pizzolato and Samistrari – but the structure was completely inefficient. It has produced billing of 656 million in five years compared to the 595 million in 2013 alone”. In practice, goes the criticism, in recent years CVN has continued to self-finance but has actually done relatively little. Certainly, in the middle of this time there was the investigation with the consequent halt in funding. But the point, say the representatives of the contractor companies, is that now MoSE must be finished and the employees must be paid.
Risk of bankruptcies
In short, now that Venetians have “tasted” the benefits of MoSE at work there is a risk of seeing it all go wrong is real. “We have no intention of making dramatic gestures, strikes or picketing the Arsenale – says Salmistrari – Simply, if something does not change soon, the companies will go bankrupt and no one will raise the dams any more”. Furthermore, he explains, “the consortium cannot complete the work without these companies, who are the only ones capable of doing so for their advanced know-how and specialized skill at working in the lagoon environment”.
Half a billion on the way
But there is money: 538 million Euro should be released on May 5 by CIPE and designated for CVN, but these funds can only be spent on new work and not to pay for old debts: this is avoid having the money be considered State aid. “We must – explain Salmistrari and Pizzolato – find a technical and financial formula that allows the outstanding bills to be paid, so we can restart the work and stop the bleeding. We are also willing – they add – to find banks for a bridge-loan”. To continue with this inertia, they conclude, “means shamefully mortgaging the future of Venice: we should make every effort to save a work which until now has cost 6 billion Euro, and is one of the most important infrastructures in the country”.
Source: Venezia Today