Italy Blames EU for the Bridge Collapse

On August 14, a 50-meter high section of the Morandi Bridge crashed down, causing the death of 38 people and wounding at least 15.

As a political consequence, the Italian populist government has tried to find the guilty parties, declaring war on the responsible highway company and speaking up against the EU.

The government said it will put an end to the concession agreement with Autostrada per l’Italia over the section where the bridge collapsed. “We cannot wait for justice (…) Autostrada had a duty and the responsibility to provide maintenance.”

The government also criticized the EU austerity policy, blaming it for reducing investments. “The right to health as investments saving lives or jobs should not be the result of cold-hearted calculations” Salvini, an Italian politician serving as Deputy Prime Minsiter of Italy and Minister of the Interior said.  

The European Commission denied it and claimed it had authorized €8.5 billion for highway refurbishment. Autostrada could also be only a pawn in a more general problem: corruption.

Emergency relief is ongoing as is the search for victims reported missing.

On Saturday, Italy will observe a day of national mourning, epitomized by funerals in attendance of the State Officials. In the meantime, while the football championship will resume this week-end, the first day matches have been postponed while, for the other matches, players will wear a black armband.

As a result of the accident, the value of the company has collapsed by 22%.

By Antoine Dewaest

Photo: EPA

17 August 2018 11:14