(ANSA) – Rome, June 3 – Transport and Infrastructure Minister
Danilo Toninelli has said the government is close to finding a
solution to the problems caused by cruise ships in Venice after
a dramatic crash on Sunday.
The MSC Opera, which was out of control because of a
mechanical problem, crashed into a tourist barge and a wharf on
the Giudecca Canal in an incident in which four people were
The accident has strengthened calls for cruise ships to be
banned from Venice’s central canals because of the dangers they
pose, as well as the pollution they emit and the damage they do
to the city’s structures and the ecosystem of its lagoon.
“We have been working with utmost resolution for months to
resolve a problem that has been left to rot for too many years,”
Toninelli, a member of the ruling 5-Star Movement (M5S), said in
an interview published in Monday’s edition of La Stampa.
“There are institutional talks that are moving forward and an
encounter is already scheduled with other ministers concerned to
reach a definitive solution, without shortcuts, that covers the
tourist economy and environmental protection”.
He said that “we are in favour” of stopping big ships docking
in the centre of the city.
“But first it is necessary to find the alternatives, the
definitive one and the provisional one, so that Venice does not
lose cruise tourism,” he added.
“After years of stalling, we are close to a solution that is
capable of finally holding together all the interests in the
“The project will be chosen by the end of June”.
Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who is
riding high after his League party triumphed in the European
elections, called for fast action.
“There’s this ship problem in Venice. You read up and there
are working hypotheses, but you have the ‘buts’, the ‘maybes’
the ‘it depends’,” said Salvini.
“Today here we have the Italy that wants to say yes to
“There’s a project for the ships. Good, let’s do it right
Venice prosecutors said they have opened a probe into the
incident but no one has been placed under investigation yet.
The vessel’s movement systems (engines, steering and the
black box) have been put under sequester but the ship itself has
A technical examination will be carried out over the next few
The president of the northern Adriatic’s sea-port-system
authority, Pino Musolino, was urgently summoned by the transport
and infrastructure ministry and, as a result, had to cancel a
press conference he was set to give on the accident, the agency
said on Monday.
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