For many years now, the Italian government has talked about building a bridge to connect the island of Sicily to mainland Italy. There have been many designs and ideas debuted, but structural issues, money, and politics never aligned to make the project a reality, until now.
Recently, it was confirmed that Italy would receive almost $350 billion from the European Union to help restart their economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. With the promise of this money, Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, mentioned the idea of the suspension bridge plan as a viable project. This bridge would play a vital role in helping the southern portion of the country improve their infrastructure that has been considerably lacking over the years.
Paola De Micheli, the Minister of Transport, said in a tweet, “We have put together a commission to study what is the most viable solution to connect Sicily and Calabria.”
Granted, Conte did say there were many other projects up for discussions, but, regardless, the public was not pleased with his statement. Many people criticized this plan and were upset that during an economic crisis that the bridge project was a priority. However, others have stated the bridge is necessary to help bridge the poverty gap that exists in the country’s southern portions.
Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said, “To win the poverty challenge the bridge would be more useful than basic income.”
Italy is receiving the most funds out of any other European Union member and must layout out their plan for the money by mid-October. Currently, it does not seem as though the bridge has made the list of priorities, but there are still about 6 to 7 weeks left before their decision goes public.