Skip to Content

Video screenshot from rescue work in Genoa

Italy says EU is responsible for bridge collapse in Genoa

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has accused the EU of being responsible for the collapse of the Morandi bridge in the northern Italian city of Genoa killing at least 39 people this week.

Published: August 16, 2018, 6:04 pm


    Salvini said European budget constraints may have prevented local authorities from maintaining and repairing the Genoa bridge within hours of the tragedy. At least 39 people were killed and 15 injured when the busy motorway bridge collapsed.

    “Italy must be able to spend the money needed to secure rivers, schools, highways and hospitals, without there being any crazy European constraints to prevent it,” Salvini told an Italian radio host.

    In an angry response, the EU Commission said billions of euros had been given for infrastructure projects. A Commission spokesperson Christian Spahr said on Thursday that, under EU rules, the concessionary party was responsible for security on highways.

    “As regards the responsibility for security of the road infrastructure on the Trans-European transport network (TENT), in the case that it is managed by a private operator, it is the concessionary that has the responsibility for the security and maintenance of the road,” Spahr said, adding that the collapsed Morandi bridge in Genoa was part of this network. The spokesman added: “Over the 2014-2020 period, Italy is set to receive around €2.5 billion under European Structural and Investment Funds for investments in network infrastructures, such as roads or rail.

    “In April 2018, the Commission also approved under EU State aid rules an investment plan for Italian motorways, which will enable around €8.5 billion of investments to go ahead, including in the Genoa region.”

    The Italian government has said it would strip highway company Autostrade per l’Italia of its concession after Tuesday’s disaster.

    Highways agency Autostrade per l’Italia spend 2.1 billion euros in the 2013-2017 period on the “maintenance, security and driveability” of its 3 020km motorway network, according to its balance sheets. In the same period it made profits of 4.05 billion euros, 3.75 billion of which was paid out in dividends to Atlantia shareholders and to the foreign funds that took up a 12 percent stake in the second half of 2017 for around 1.7 billion euros.

    Salvini has said that those responsible for the bridge’s collapse would be held to account. “I have crossed that bridge hundreds of times. Now, as an Italian citizen, I will do everything to get names and surnames of managers responsible, past and present, because it is unacceptable to die like that in Italy.”

    Italy, the third-largest economy in the Eurozone, is struggling with EU-mandated fiscal targets because of public debt.

    Salvini said during an Italian radio interview: “There are some regions that have used and spent all European funds, other regions that have not. There is, therefore, someone who must be rewarded and someone who must be punished.”

    The country spent more than €14 billion on its roads in 2006 but that decreased to less than €4bn by 2010, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.


    Why does Switzerland’s UN representative want open borders?

    Jürg Lauber, the representative of Switzerland at the UN, was instrumental in writing The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, together with the representative from Mexico.

    Orban: ‘Europe without nations will cease to exist’

    HelsinkiEurope would lose its spiritual and cultural identity without its nations, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told his audience at a European People’s Party (EPP) congress in Helsinki on Thursday.

    Salvini already has a plan to cut Italy’s debt

    RomeThe European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said at Monday's Eurogroup meeting with Economy Minister Giovanni Tria, that Italy needs to cut its high debt, EU sources said on Wednesday. The country's Interior Minister already has a plan.

    Dutch daily exposes cross-border grooming gangs

    AntwerpThe Dutch chapter of aid an organisation dealing with underage prostitution is working together with the Flemish municipality of Antwerp to tackle the increase in human trafficking and grooming gangs.

    Marine Le Pen beats Macron in latest poll

    ParisSovereignist parties secured a combined 30 percent of support in the latest poll with Marine Le Pen’s National Rally ahead of French President Emmanuel Macron’s party for the European Parliament elections.

    UK war propaganda outfit to move to The Netherlands

    The HagueThe pro-war British research collective Bellingcat is planning to expand into the Netherlands and to open a permanent office in The Hague, reported on Friday.

    French politician attacks UN Global Compact: ‘Time for change!’

    BrusselsNicolas Bay, member of the European parliament and co-president of the group “Europe of Nations and Freedom” gave an exclusive comment to FreeWestMedia on the “Global Compact for Migration”.

    French magazine outlines new hyperviolence linked to immigration

    ParisOne of France’s leading conservative news magazines has highlighted the "denial, abandonment and powerlessness" of the French state faced with hordes of foreigners who do not fit in and do not want to become French.

    Germany: Horror rapes and sexual assaults

    Yet another horror rape case in the Bavarian capital Munich, has caused outrage in Germany. Once again, the suspects are foreigners, asylum seekers from Afghanistan. Sadly, it is one of many such cases.

    AfD a clear winner in German regional election

    FrankfurtThe clear winner in Hesse's state elections this weekend was the AfD. Unlike the Greens and the FDP, the AfD now sits in all 16 state parliaments - five and a half years after its founding in Hesse's Oberursel.

    Go to archive