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

    Rome

    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.

    Europe

    Ukraine, a terror state?

    New leader of Donetsk People’s Republic: The former leader of Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko was assasinated by Ukrainian Security Service.

    Luxemburg minister swears at Salvini as immigration summit turns ugly

    This past week the interior ministers of the member states of the European Union met in Vienna where Jean Asselborn, a member of the Socialist Workers’ Party, and Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Affairs in Luxembourg, inadvertently boosted conservatives.

    Dalai Lama in Sweden: ‘Europe belongs to Europeans’

    The Tibetan Buddhist leader Dalai Lamas message is that Europe belongs to Europeans and refugees should return to their home countries as soon as the danger is over. Swedish journalists quickly changed from celebrating the peace laureate to suggesting the old monk is ignorant.

    French conservatives question proposed Arabic teaching at schools

    French conservatives on Tuesday criticised the "revival of teaching of Arabic" in schools welcomed by Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer. 

    Dutch government faces legal trouble after aiding terrorists

    The "moderate" rebels in Syria were not moderate at all, the recent scandal in the Netherlands has demonstrated yet again. Faced with mounting legal problems, the Dutch government has been forced to cut loose the jihadists. At least one prosecutor seems to believe that the government committed a crime.

    Dutch government supported armed groups designated as terrorists

    The HagueThe Dutch government supported an armed group in Syria that has been labeled as a terrorist organisation by the country's own Public Prosecution Service.

    Anti-establishment sentiment grows in Sweden

    The establishment parties dropped in yesterday’s election in Sweden, but far from what would be expected from early polls. The Social Democrats and Conservatives remain the biggest parties, with anti establishment Sweden Democrats at third place, growing from 12.9 to 17.6 percent. However, the party could still play an decisive role, since the difference between the socialist and conservative block is one single seat.

    Marine Le Pen welcomes rise of Sweden Democrats

    Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Rally - formerly known as the National Front - welcomed the rise of the Sweden Democrats.

    Swedish elections: Anti-immigration party set to be largest

    Today the Swedes are going to vote for a new parliament, as well as regional and local representatives. The anti-immigration party, the Sweden Democrats are expected to rise to the position of biggest party, while a completely new Alternative for Sweden has a chance to enter the parliament.

    Spain’s new Matteo Salvini?

    The new Italian government, under the leadership of Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, has managed to stop the flood of migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Italy. But now Spain is struggling. Who will lead Spain out of the quagmire?

    Go to archive