The Mayor’s end of the year Press Conference – the city is in an economic and healthcare crisis, and the only priority is a sports complex. A disaster for Venetians. By Monica Sambo

The Sports Complex: is this really the priority for the city?

[Ed. Note: Monica Sambo is a City Councilor in Venice and leader of the local PD. What follows is her reaction to Luigi Brugnaro’s end of the year press conference, where he announced that the European Recovery Funds and “resources saved by the Municipality” – nearly 250 million Euro – would be used to build a major sports complex with an olympic sized swimming pool: and nothing else. There’s much to be said about the many worthy and urgent projects in Venice that have been either rejected or postponed by the Brugnaro Administration this year alone (including the rejected plan to redevelop the Rialto Market just a couple of weeks ago), but for our end of the year post we’ll let a vocal member of the Venetian opposition speak for themselves.]

Dec. 30, 2021  VENEZIA

Today the Mayor, during his end of the year press conference, reported the plans for the funds of the PNRR (European Recovery Funds).

The only things mentioned were related to the new sports complex. There was no reference to the many other big investments that are needed for the city, especially from the point of view of the environment and urban regeneration, not to mention housing.

How can we be a candidate for the capital of sustainability under these conditions?

When it comes to kindergartens, the Councilor for Education Policy declared that the year’s great achievement was the outsourcing of the Mille Colori kindergarten.

As far as transportation goes, the ghost Councilor (because they have been absent in recent months) declared that the services have been working (which makes us wonder if they have ever used public transportation since the beginning of the pandemic). [Ed. note: in case you have not been following this particular story, public transportation has been a very big source of controversy this year, with ACTV cutting services and lines due to a claimed huge, pandemic-induced budget shortfall, resulting in waits for hours on weekends to get on a vaporetto and even fistfights, as well as packed buses and trams.]

Once again we heard a lot of talk about a security crackdown and the hiring of new police, but nothing regarding social policies and inclusion. Brugnaro talks about 6 years of security, always with the same recipes, but many neighborhoods are less livable for residents now, and there are areas of the city where it is not advisable to go at night.  The only first place position, unfortunately negative, is that of being the capital of heroin dealing.

Culture is no longer central. The Mayor did not even mention it, and as the Councilor of Culture [Brugnaro has claimed this role for himself] has not planned or designed anything in recent years. The management of the city is confirmed as totally centered around business and dependent on tourism. Culture in our city is entrusted to State or private institutions, despite the fact that the City has its own foundation.

As always there is nothing new on the jobs front. There is no planned project for the revitalization of Porto Marghera, no positive policy to create stable and quality jobs in the tourism sector and it appears that the famous development agency created by the City has definitively dropped off the radar.

This self-congratulatory end of the year press conference does not offer any future to the city, and demonstrates how Brugnaro only knows how to complain, attacking anyone who thinks differently than him, and how he only knows how to wait for funding to rain down from the other institutional levels, or to finish projects planned by past administrations ten years ago.

Monica Sambo – City Councilor

Source: Monica Sambo per Venezia FB page

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