“Resignations!” Crowds and Protests Against the Bosco dello Sport at Ca’ Farsetti

Tensions ran high in City Council Thursday afternoon. Some of the crowd of people who came to listen to the debate in the Meeting Hall were not able to enter. The opposition lashed out against the arena and stadium with protests against the majority and the Mayor.

27 April 2023

The discussion about the Bosco dello Sport project set for Thursday did not happen. The Mayor, after having repeated his will to proceed with the stadium and arena at Tessera, with the support of the government if not with PNRR money, left City Council, postponing the debate to an ad hoc section. Meanwhile many people (close to 100 according to other reports) had arrived at Ca’ Farsetti to hear the debate, and some were not able to enter the council hall.

There were moments of protest and opposition, while the local police and carabinieri maintained public order. A chorus of people shouted “Resignations, resignations!” at the majority. The Laboratorio occupato Morion, which made its presence known in the Council, unfurled a banner calling for housing and services for residents. “Venice has lost one hundred million Euro from the PNRR. Brugnaro, undeterred, has now called for the State’s intervention and the use of 200 million Euro of public money to build (his) arena and stadium” – a post on Facebook reads – “We live in a city caught between the grip of an omnivorous and uncontrolled overtourism and the enormous abandonment of public assets. It is now impossible to find rents at affordable prices, in the face of a mass of ATER and ERP public housing that is for the most part abandoned”.

The opposition’s speeches were also fiery, all lined up against the Bosco dello Sport and critical of the “too many opportunities for the city that have been lost”, as PD councilor Alessandro Baglioni commented. “We lack housing, transportation, services, debate and listening”, added PD leader Giuseppe Saccà. Marco Gasparinetti of “Terra & Acqua” called for the immediate cancellation of the Planning Agreement that supports the metropolitan city’s agreement to use 93.5 million Euro of the PNRR for the Bosco dello Sport. “It’s trash – he thundered – and there are 70,000 Euros in consultancy fees, a clear overcharge”, while Budget Councilor Michele Zuin countered by saying “I understand that he has to make himself heard because he brought people to the city council, but it is not the case”.

“The Mayor did not have the courage to meet with the opposition and the citizens” said Monica Sambo, PD councilor and secretary, “The majority moved up the timing of the budget discussion to prevent the hall from filling up with citizens who had come to hear the debate. It is absurd that even after the rejection of the project by the European Union this Municipality still wants to spend 300 million Euro of public resources to do the sports arena”.

One after the other, even though the discussion had been delayed, the minority groups voiced their opposition to the Bosco project. “Perhaps they thought they could fool Europe by calling the mass of cement on agricultural land a ‘Bosco’ (forest)” – said Giovanni Andrea Martini, councilor for Tutta la città Insieme! – “Everyone who advanced doubts or questions about this were not listened to. This would be enough for a request for resignation, or for a mayor to resign when the project that is the symbol of his government is rejected by Europe”.

Gianfranco Bettin, councilor for the Lista Verde and Progressista said of Brugnaro, “He also forgets the critical point regarding the completely public financing for the project, which is taking funds away from fundamental work: urban and environmental redevelopment and socio-economic regeneration. Brugnaro wants to spend over 300 million Euro of public money while the real urgent and profound needs of the city remain unresolved”.

Meanwhile the City Council approved the 2022 Management Report with 20 votes in favor and 12 against, amongst cries from the public of “Shame, shame!”.

Source – Venezia Today

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