Millions spent with nothing to show
It's overpriced, favoured by the Mafia and at risk from earthquakes – but 15 years after it was conceived, it's still not been built.
- The insanity of modern Big Government - Nearly €600,000,000 spent without a brick laid or girder planted for the project.
- European Socialism at its best. Lots and lots of "activity" but no results.
- Now the Socialist US is grinding to a halt under endless "studies" and regulations.
It was supposed to be one of the engineering marvels of 21st century Europe. But despite decades of hype, plans for the world's biggest suspension bridge between Sicily and mainland Italy have yet to come to fruition, and most observers think they never will.
So austerity-hit Italians are now asking why the usually parsimonious Monti government has just signalled its continued financial support for what newspapers have dubbed the "phantom bridge". For a construction project, even a monumentally grand one, that's yet to see the light of day, an awful lot of money – €600,000,000 has already been spent.
Will the Mafia steal the Sicily Bridge funds?
€600,000,000 has already been spent and there is no bridge.
Consultancy fees, compensation for contracts never realised, and, ironically, cost-analysis have swallowed up nearly £500m without a brick laid or girder planted for the project, which it is expected would eventually cost around €8.5bn (£6.8bn). This month, to the incredulity of the project's many opponents, the technocrat government of Mario Monti announced a two-year extension in funding of the "exploratory work" into the project by the Messina Strait company.
However, environmental group Legambiente said ministers were effectively passing the buck and leaving it up to a subsequent elected government decide the project's fate while "wasting money in the meantime on useless tests".
"The only winner in this case is the pro-bridge lobby," said the organisation's vice-president Edoardo Zanchini.
The other spectres hovering over the Strait of Messina are those of Mafia involvement.
The huge suspension bridge would link the territories of Italy's two biggest crime syndicates – Cosa Nostra and 'Ndrangheta. Critics predict the project would represent the biggest payday in the history of Italian organised crime, which has a hand in most of the public works contracts in southern Italy.
Back in the Olden days when Italians knew how to build
- Under "modern" Big Government there is endless talking, planning and millions spent with no results.
|The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a circus that was the sporting and social center of Constantinople, eastern capital of the Roman Empire. It could seat over 30,000 people.|