The Committee on the memory of victims of the Morandi Bridge collapse in Italy's Genoa is calling for the maximum economic penalty for shareholders of Autostrade per l'Italia (ASPI), the company responsible for the fallen bridge's maintenance, committee head Egle Possetti said in a statement on Thursday
GENOA (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 16th July, 2020) The Committee on the memory of victims of the Morandi Bridge collapse in Italy's Genoa is calling for the maximum economic penalty for shareholders of Autostrade per l'Italia (ASPI), the company responsible for the fallen bridge's maintenance, committee head Egle Possetti said in a statement on Thursday.
On Wednesday, ASPI stroke a preliminary agreement with the Italian government to maintain and run under concession a motorway network to which the repaired Genoa bridge is part of. Under the deal, ASPI would bear compensatory expenses and responsibility to reinforce control systems, as well as become a state-owned entity with shares controlled by the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) bank.
"We are waiting for the developments with all subsequent documentation in order to understand key elements and specifics of the agreement ... For us, the following point would be fundamental and crucial: maximum economic penalty for shareholders who must give in their shares," Possetti said.
According to the statement, the committee pursues to see that the financial burden associated with the restoration of the motorway network not be put on taxpayers' shoulders.
Authorities of Liguria, the Italian region to which Genoa is a capital, have criticized the deal and called for the revocation of the concession. Liguria Region President Giovanni Toti has argued that the construction expenses are likely going to be put on ordinary people.
"It would be very important and respectful for our dear ones who were killed in the Morandi Bridge catastrophe not to hear bombastic declarations, especially from those who helped sign the original concession [to ASPI], which was the source of our tragedy and all the current difficulties," Possetti said.
ASPI has so far retained the motorway concession, but Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte gave the company an ultimatum last week, saying it must present a proposal ensuring public interest, otherwise its concession would be revoked. The issue has caused a major dispute in the government and among the public. The government is divided, with The Five Star Movement insisting on stripping ASPI of the concession.
ASPI is currently controlled by the Benetton-led Atlantia group, but it will gradually cut its controlling stake in favor of CDP.
The Morandi Bridge collapsed in August of 2018, killing 43 people and destroying the homes of more than 600 residents.