Reggio, Falcomatà thunders: “With differentiated autonomy the bridge risks uniting an already divided country”


By John

“The bridge over the StraitWith the’differentiated autonomy risks uniting an already divided country. What is needed is a constructive and concrete approach. And at the same time, the resources of the Cohesion funds must be returned to us.”

The metropolitan mayor of Reggio Calabria said it, Giuseppe Falcomatà, speaking during the open session of the Campo Calabro municipal council, chaired by the mayor, Sandro Repaci, dedicated to the theme of the Bridge over the Strait. «The mistake that we often make as public administrators regarding the Strait Bridge – added Falcomatà – is not to focus on what revolves around this great public work. A point of view and a discussion that is not limited to infrastructure alone or to an approach influenced purely by ideology between those who are reasonably in favor and those who are equally against. Among the various comments I listened to those of those who, in their capacity as institutional representatives, were afraid of starting public works for fear of mafia infiltration. We cannot allow anyone to say that this Bridge will not unite two coasts, but two gangs. Whoever said it must take responsibility for it. We know what it means to be mayors and city councilors in the South, in Calabria and in the province of Reggio. We don’t need statistics or lists of threatened administrators to remind us how burdensome our job is. At the same time, we fight crime and will always do everything we can to ensure that the necessary public works, for the collective good, are carried out for the territories.” «Today – the mayor of Reggio Calabria said – the question is no longer: Bridge yes or Bridge no. We are already ahead of this question which could have been valid until the political decision maker had officially activated this process. The doubt we need to resolve now is what role to play as local public bodies, deciding whether to accept the decision or govern it, as protagonists, turning the spotlight on everything that will be the approval phases of the executive project, start of work and completion. This is our role.”

«As far as I’m concerned – continued Mayor Falcomatà – there are also ‘no’s on the Bridge. For example, we say no to projects ‘dropped from above, without the protagonism of the territories. Let’s say no to a project that deprives us of cohesion funds, resources that the Constitution establishes as additional, and not replacement, to increase the development of areas in difficulty compared to richer regions. To date, however, approximately one billion euros of Cohesion funds foreseen for Sicily and Calabria are included in the Bridge project. These are marginal resources if we think about the general investment in infrastructure, but which are instead decisive for our territories.” «I do not agree – Falcomatà continued – with what was declared in recent days by the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, Rixi, in Reggio Calabria, according to which those resources were taken because the Calabria and Sicily Regions do not have spending capacity. This is an institutional accident that is not very suitable even towards those who govern them. Finally, we say another ‘no’ to a Ponte who, with the wicked project of differentiated autonomy, risks wanting to unite an Italy that is in fact divided between those who already have everything and will have even more and those who will always have less”. (HANDLE).