Railway: Funds doubled for the Third Tunnel

Genoa - “With the approval of the financing,” Delrio said, “the funds available will double from €1.6 billion to €3.8 billion.”

di Matteo Dell’Antico

Genoa - “I see them running out.” Graziano Delrio is trying to cause a stir with this clever remark. Genoa, the Ducal Palace: the public assembly of the local section of Confindustria is under way. The Minister’s phrase came just after the announcement of the doubling of the funds needed for the creation of the infrastructure of the Third Tunnel, the high-capacity line between Genoa and the Po Plain. “With the approval of the financing,” Delrio said, “the funds available will double from €1.6 billion to €3.8 billion.” The minister speaks of a “horizon of five or six years” for a project that Liguria’s business world has been requesting for decades and which would allow for a high-speed link to Genoa first of all, especially for goods entering and exiting the port, towards Northern European markets. But the Minister of Transportation is pushing harder, announcing that the infrastructure project “could also still be financed by the European Union,” he also provided reassurance on the widespread fear that construction on the Third Tunnel could suffer setbacks and delays in relation to the roadmap imposed by Rome.

“This is not just idle talk on our part,” Delrio promised, “and precisely for this reason we will be transparent. The information should be available to everyone, nothing should be hidden. We need a posture of great clarity and reliability, because we can only overcome these challenges if the communities are united.” Then an invitation to the Genoese entrepreneurial world: “Don’t be afraid. Italian companies are leaders in several different sectors on the global level. We are neither Greece nor Portugal, our economy is solid. Politicians have made errors, but there won’t be any more waste. We will invest heavily at the national level, and in Genoa, to grow our industry,” the Minister said. But Delrio’s visit to the Ligurian capital, in part to see the departure of the outgoing port president, Luigi Merlo, is an opportunity to meet with the city’s entire maritime cluster, who were all present for the Confindustria assembly.

In fact, according to the government, the role of the most important port in Liguria in the economic development of the country, like Savona, should be mainly to attract markets very close to Italy to our country, like Switzerland and Bavaria, which for some time have preferred to send and receive their freight through Northern European ports. Precisely for this reason, according to the minister, Liguria “should have an efficient transportation system, starting with the rail network.” Delrio then undertook, in front of the audience at Confindustria, to open a discussion about regional transportation. “We have serious delays,” he said, “that involve many people. 10% of passengers travel on high speed trains, 60% on regional trains.” “It is our fault,” he explained, “because we continued to delay Trenitalia’s service contract. I promise that I will return to this issue.” But his last comment, which was the most suspicious to the industrialists who were present in the hall: “Like good Genoese, you are businesslike people. But I can tell you that as an Emilian, I am just as much so.”