The ones who pocketed the tolls are responsible....
Billionaires Carlo Benetton, Luciano Benetton, Giuliana Benetton, Gilberto Benetton
The blame game: Who is responsible for the deadly Genoa bridge collapse?
The exact cause of Tuesday's disaster in Genoa, the latest in a string of bridge collapses in Italy, is not yet clear but Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli has sworn that 'those responsible will have to pay.'
The finger has been pointed in several directions, namely Autostrade Per Italia, the private company that operates many of Italy's toll highways.
Italy's deputy premier, Luigi Di Maio accused the Benetton group, which through its £6million holding company Atlantia controls Autostrade Per Italia, of pocketing profits instead of investing money for maintenance. Di Maio's Five Star Movement party, which is governing alongside the League party, vowed to fine highway agency Autostrade 150million euros (£133million) for breach of contract while calling for its bosses to be sacked.
However, Di Maio's own party dismissed fears that the Morandi bridge in Genoa would collapse as a 'fairy story' while opposing repair work as a 'waste of money' as recently as 2013.
A now-deleted statement on the party's website argues against a project to improve Genoa's highways - including the bridge - saying those who backed the plan showed 'an embarrassing lack of critical sense.'
The plan is 'an obsolete idea with exorbitant costs that, in the end, would fall entirely on citizens' who would have to deal with a decade of building works and disruption, the statement says.
Repair work was eventually carried out on the bridge in 2016 but plans to rebuild it were shelved amid fears it would be too disruptive to locals. One of the people singled out at responsible for the disaster is one of Atlantia's well-paid and sharply-dressed executives with a reported love of fast cars and tropical beaches.
Paolo Berti, 47, from Milan, is the Operations and Maintenance manager of Atlantia, and therefore directly responsible for maintaining the Morandi Bridge – and the scores of other motorway structures – that span Italy’s mountainous landscape.
The others are Stefano Marigliani, the director of the Genoa stretch of carriage way and Giancarlo Guenzi, Atlantia’s chief financial officer with responsibility of approving – or refusing –maintenance budgets.
Atlantia is a public company listed on the Milan Stock Exchange.
It’s largest single shareholder is Sintonia, an investment vehicle of the Benetton family – known for their international fashion brand. Billionaire Gilberto Benetton, 77, one of the founders of United Colors of Benetton Sisley, is a director of Atlantia. Source