Nereo Marcucci, president of Confetra, described the Italian government’s attitude towards major projects as “worrying”. And he says he is “very concerned” about the national economy because of the current slowdown in the development of new infrastructure. “Unfortunately,” he explains, “we have to point out that the government has a hostile attitude towards major construction. This attitude penalizes the entire Italian logistics system and slows down the circulation of goods,” concludes Confetra’s chief. Confetra is an association that represents over 60,000 companies and half a million employees, that is, the entire logistical chain in all of its segments.
Why is the development of logistics in Italy still lagging behind many other European countries?
“I believe that this is first of all a cultural issue that can only change if in the next few years there is a proper campaign to raise awareness of how important it is for every country to have efficient logistics. For the good of business, workers and every single citizen.”
What are the priorities from this point of view?
“Complete the construction that is currently in progress and start construction for all the priority infrastructure elements. Of course,” Marcucci points out, “there are works that are more important than others and we are well aware that the Italian infrastructure deficit cannot be corrected in a few years. For this very reason, I believe that we need to take action on the infrastructure elements for which we have been waiting so long. Would you need an example? I could give many, but here’s one: the Third Tunnel”.
What is Confetra proposing to improve the situation?
“Our proposals for growth go first and foremost through simplifications that allow us to reduce the competitive gap with foreign competitors. In recent weeks, we have once again highlighted critical issues such as, for example, the restrictions still in place on the Single Customs Window. But there are also problems with the tax credit for investments in the South and in the SEZs, from which the logistics sector remains excluded.”
How heavily does the climate of uncertainty regarding the continuation of major construction projects weigh on investment?
“It is not yet clear whether Italy will continue to implement the policy of creating the Ten-T Corridors, starting with Turin-Lyon and Naples-Bari. This climate of confusion and uncertainty - which also includes the management of the delicate BRI matter - does not help our companies to plan investments and industrial development policies. Confetra participated in the preparatory meetings of the general assemblies held in recent weeks in Milan, Genoa and Turin. It did so through its associated national federations and highly important local organizations that belong to the confederated system. We have reiterated - at various times and together with our Alsea, Assologistica, Fedespedi, Fercargo, Anama, Spediporto, Apsaci, Assofer - our priorities for each region and the nation as a whole.”
What should the role of the Port System Authorities be?
“The federal government’s position is that the governance of the port system is firmly anchored in the State’s central public administration. But it is also necessary to revitalise national-level coordination under the ministry of the entire port sector, restoring incisiveness and effectiveness to the National Conference of Port System Authorities, so that we continue to proceed with a strategy of central rationalization of investments and actions to simplify legislation and regulations that represent perhaps the greatest competitive gap for our national port system to date.”