By: Steve Dellar | 08-16-2018 | News
Photo credit: @johndenugentESA | Twitter

Italy – Salvini Blames Toll Operator ‘Autostrade’ For 40 Dead In Genoa Catastrophe

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini lashed out at the toll operator of the Genoa highway, Autostrade per l'Italia, whom he claimed should have made adequate repairs as authorities scramble to bury the dead of the bridge collapse that has now killed 40 (with dozens still missing under the rubble).

Italy is still reeling from the shock of seeing dozens of vehicles fall 148ft from the Morandi bridge during torrential rain two days ago.

The anti-European populist government of Lega Nord (Mr Matteo Salvini) and the Five-Star-Movement (Mr Luigi di Maio) were equally quick to blame the toll operator of the highway, Autostrade per l'Italia, whom they say did not adequately repair the viaduct which collapsed.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Was Salvini right to blame Brussels for Genoa bridge collapse? <br><br>Read more: <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; euronews (@euronews) <a href="">August 15, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Deputy Prime Minister Mr Luigi Di Maio threatened today that Autostrade per l'Italia's might be taken into state control, saying: "It's not possible that someone pays a toll to die. Those who were supposed to do the maintenance work did not do it properly. That bridge should have been closed before this tragedy happened."

Shares in the holding company, Atlantia, fell almost 30% on the Milan stock exchange from the previous close on the threat of the toll operator being taken into government control.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">“Many motorways need maintenance but often we are told that we cannot spend money because of European constraints”.<br><br>In the wake of Genoa&#39;s bridge collapse, Italy&#39;s Deputy PM Matteo Salvini says Italy&#39;s infrastructure spending is being held back by EU rules. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) <a href="">August 15, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Just as many Italians were outraged because of the disaster message on Autostrade’s website, informing its users of a detour that would be needed because of the collapse, a fuming Mr Di Maio declared to the Italian press that "while bodies were still being counted" the company was speaking about money it would get from cancelled contracts. "This is shameful, always thinking about profit."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">So what investments did Atlantia (the owners of Autostrade, managers of the Morandi bridge which collapsed in <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Genoa</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Italy</a>) make with their immense profits? 10/<a href=""></a></p>&mdash; ecpoir (@ecpoir) <a href="">August 16, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Interior Minister Mr Matteo Salvini declared that he would "do everything to get the names and surnames of the managers responsible."


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