Messina, funds for rehabilitation doubled. There are also the 150 million from the “PinQua” program


By John

Messina, the Strait Area, the Redevelopment, the Bridge, the urban regeneration interventions. The axis with Rome inevitably becomes increasingly narrower, given the many irons in the fire. And some significant news emerged from yesterday. Let’s see them in summary.


Once again the spotlight is on at the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, after the meeting held 24 hours earlier by Mayor Basile with Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini and with the CEO of the Stretto company Pietro Ciucci. But this time the Ministry addressed the issue of funds from the special law to eliminate the Messina slums. The sub-commissioner for Redevelopment, the lawyer, discussed it. Marcello Scurriathe deputy mayor Salvatore Mondello and, representing the Government, the Undersecretary for Relations with Parliament, Matilde Siracusano. It was the deputy from Messina who explained the objective of the discussion, «aimed at the possibility of using the “PinQua” funds (the national innovative program for the quality of living) for further clearing operations and for the new assignments of houses to the people of Messina who still live in the “favelas”. A comparison, the one with the Ministry’s technicians, which was useful and positive”, adds the undersecretary. The path has been traced: thanks to a rule inserted by the Government in the Milleproroghe decree, the 150 million euros obtained by the Metropolitan City and the Municipality of Messina could be added to the 100 million euros already allocated by the special law for the Redevelopment “PinQua”. «We are working to make this possibility a reality», declares Matilde Siracusano.

Bridge over the Strait

The first news comes at the end of the meeting between the Minister of the Environment Gilberto Pichetto Fratin and the CEO of the “Stretto” Pietro Ciucci: «We have identified the most effective methods, within the existing regulatory framework, to ensure the completion of the Via-Vas procedures under the responsibility of the Ministry of the Environment, which will lead to the start of the preliminary operations necessary for the construction of the work by mid-2024″. It is a concrete commitment, the one undertaken by the Minister of the Environment and Energy Security, who until now had not yet officially expressed his position. Pichetto Fratin yesterday, however, forcefully highlighted “the role of the Ministry of the Environment on the largest work that Italy plans to build in the coming years”.

The Scientific Committee

Another important news: with the “consent” of the two Regions (Sicily and Calabria), the nine members of the new technical-scientific Committee which will support the Stretto company in the coming months have been appointed. This is Alberto Prestininzi, professor of Earth Engineering at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, who will be the coordinator; Claudio Borri, professor of Construction Sciences at the University of Florence and director of the “Inter-university Center for Construction Aerodynamics and Wind Engineering”; Andreas Taras, professor of steel constructions and composite structures at the ETH in Zurich; Sara Muggiasca, associate of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Polytechnic of Milan and director of the Wind Tunnel; Mauro Dolce, professor of Construction Technology at the “Federico II” University of Naples, expert in seismic and volcanic risk; Francesco Karrer, professor of Urban Planning at “La Sapienza” (retired). And again Giuseppe Muscolino from Messina, professor of Construction Science at the University of Messina; Paolo Fuschi, full professor of structural mechanics at the University of Reggio Calabria and Alessio Ferrari, full professor of geotechnical engineering at the University of Palermo.

Webuild construction sites

«I hope that 2024 will see the start of construction. We are working for this.” Pietro Salini, CEO of the Webuild Group, declared this on the sidelines of a conference at the Catholic University of Milan, obviously referring to the date set for the start of work on the Bridge. What the CEO of Webuild reiterated is that, at the moment, the largest Italian construction holding company has “31 open construction sites underway, with 17 thousand people at work in the next three years and we plan to hire around ten thousand more”.

New No parade

«We believe that the Bridge over the Strait is not only not a priority but represents more of a threat than an opportunity for the sustainable development of Sicily, Calabria and the South». The No Ponte Coordination is once again making itself heard in view of the new national procession, which will also be held in Messina on Saturday 2 December, “in conjunction with the parliamentary discussion on the Budget Law”.

“Instead of the Bridge”

And the representatives of the “Instead of the Bridge” Committee did not like Ciucci’s response “to the heartfelt requests of the mayor of Messina”, written down in a 14-page document delivered last April to the Transport and Environment Commissions of the Chamber. «Ciucci responds with an invitation to participate in technical tables. With a premise however: the project is the same, at most a few small updates, the main aspects are immutable. It is a real affront to Basile and the city of Messina. We invite the mayor “not to stand there”, starting a public debate and calling the Council into question.”

Germanà and the No… to the No

«The usual broken record which, moreover, represents only a small minority: every time there are more acronyms than participants». The Lega senator from Messina, Nino Germanà, goes on the attack: «The “culture of No”, with its usual ideological and short-sighted vision, is once again trying to organize a procession against the realization of the work. Messina, Sicily and the South want the Bridge, Italy needs the Bridge, an economic accelerator and investment attractor. The realization of the structure, thanks to Salvini’s commitment, is and will be the right answer to the needs and development of the South. Enough with the No policies.”