Rome (AP) – Activists opposed to ships sailing in Venice are meeting with the Italian government to insist that its latest proposal to convert large ships to a route away from St. Mark’s Square does not address environmental concerns over the fragile Gulf of Venice. ,
The Italian cabinet issued a decree this week calling for a public contest for ideas to build a new port “outside the protected waters of the Gulf.”
Culture Minister Dario Francescini said the decree addresses a long-standing concern of UNESCO, which stipulates that more than 40,000 tonnes of cargo ships must land at sea.
If this is not stated in the decree, the interim plan will allow large ships to use the port of Margera on the Italian continent until a final solution is reached, a process of potential years.
“Anyone who has been to Venice in recent years, whether Italian or foreign, is outraged to see these ships, hundreds of meters long, as sad as they pass by such fragile places as the ec yudekka canal or in front of St. Mark’s Square. “- said Franceschini.
He called the decree a “very powerful” way to find a final solution.
But the No Ships Committee, a coalition of activists, says the port of Margera remains part of the Gulf of Venice and should be rejected, even as a temporary solution. The planned new route took the ships along the tail of the Lido, and then through the oil canal to the Italian mainland, far from the historic center of Venice, but still the bay of Margera.
“Of course, it is easy to hear that the Italian government is finally announcing a ban on blocking large ships from the Gulf and blocking Venice,” said da ostin Mosto of the We Are Venice group, which is part of the Small Ships coalition.
“But the ‘temporary’ plan to bring large Margera cruise ships will not protect the lagoon,” he said in an email. “This new route will still damage its fragile ecosystem with inevitable negative impacts.”
The issue has been raging in Venice for years. The fragile city of the Italian Canal is dependent on tourism, although the coronavirus epidemic has hit the industry in recent years. But opponents of cruise ship tourism say the ships are not large-scale for Venice, causing pollution, threatening the Gulf ecosystem and endangering it. To defend their claims, they cite a 2019 cruise ship accident on Venice’s main Ud Judeca Canal, which left five people injured.
The Small Ships Committee said it wanted to meet with the government to insist that the Margera oil canal route was “inoperable”.
“Any temporary solution should be rejected because the risk is too great, it becomes final,” the group tweeted.
Colin Barry made his contribution in Soave, Italy.