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“Cruise ships’ enemies need to explain how to keep jobs”

Venice - Pino Musolino, president of the Venetian Port Authority, defends the choice of entrusting the system that would strictly limit access to the lagoon, at least for cruises, to an algorithm; “Because for us this sector represents 5,400 jobs”

Venice - “If someone is able to guarantee me that there’ll be even one more job than those that currently the cruise industry is able to offer Venice, then we could start thinking about turning our backs on the big ships.” Pino Musolino, president of the Venetian Port Authority, defends the choice of entrusting the system that would strictly limit access to the lagoon, at least for cruises, to an algorithm; “Because for us this sector represents 5,400 jobs. We have coordinated this solution with all relevant bodies, and it represents a beginning. My hope is that we’ll soon obtain more pieces to complete the picture.”

The other pieces of the puzzle will arrive in “three to five years”. That’s how long the dredging of the Vittorio Emanuele Channel will take, and the construction of the new cruise terminal in the industrial area in Marghera. “The algorithm is a temporary solution,” repeats Musolino.

The danger is that the time it’ll take to find a definitive solution will drag on too long; “We’re going to implement the MOSE protection project here, and public works must be conducted following all the necessary stages. It will take time, but we have to do things right. Everyone must understand this, even the companies,” declared Musolino whilst at the Forum organized in Civitavecchia.

Musolino is convinced that rather than hurrying, what’s needed is a “well-structured project, able to give prospects to the sector in Venice.” The preliminary project will arrive soon, within the year. Musolino is not so worried about “the calls for repeals, which in our system are almost certain, but rather what we’ve already taken into account: we are still convinced we’ll conclude everything by 2021 or 2022, obtaining the complete package.”

But there is something else that worries Musolino. The president of the Authority is increasingly concerned with things in Rome; with the new government that has not yet been formed, and the impossibility of “starting talks” with the successor of Graziano Delrio at the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport. “Currently we’re absorbed with the dredging phase, things are complicated here, one just needs to consider the requirements we must follow to treat the sludge, and all the necessary authorizations.” Regarding the funds to carry out all the necessary works up to the end date of 2022, Musolino points out that the State will provide most of the money: “In total we’re talking about some 200 million euro, but we’ve devised a plan to also involve private companies.” The funding structure is yet to be finalised, and all the more difficult without a government.

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