“We have been told about the little fairy tale of the imminent collapse of the Morandi Bridge.” That is how Five Star Movement co-founder Beppe Grillo reportedly referred to warnings about the collapse of the bridge on his blog.
The blog post was apparently removed yesterday but a screenshot of the post has been published by Ligurian local daily Il Secolo XIX.
“It's a double disaster,” a Ligurian Five Star Movement parliamentarian told the daily. “On the one hand for the victims and their families, on the other because in the coming weeks they will throw us in the meat grinder for our battles on the territory,” added the MP.
The Five Star Movement's rise in the northwestern Italian province was linked to its opposition to proposals for a new motorway that would have alleviated traffic on the A10, where the Morandi Bridge collapsed on August 14th.
At least 39 people have so far died in the tragic accident, according to the latest figures from the local government in Genoa. Several high-profile figures had warned, however, that a disaster was imminent.
In 2012, the president of the Genoa branch of the General Confederation of Italian Industry (Confindustria) – the Italian chamber of commerce – had warned that the bridge would collapse within 10 years.
“When in ten years the Morandi Bridge will collapse, and we will all have to stay in line in traffic for hours, we will remember the name of who has now said no (ED: to the new highway),” Giovanni Calvini, the former Confindustria regional president, said during an interview with Il Secolo XIX on December 4th, 2012.
A project known as 'La Gronda,' a new road excavated through the mountains behind Genoa that would have bypassed a clogged junction where the A7, A10 and A12 motorways meet near the northern city, was proposed to alleviate traffic on those three clogged highways, reports Il Sole 24 Ore.
But it never took off, in part due to opposition from the Five Star Movement.
The Five Star Movement's No Gronda campaign held rallies as recently as August 6th in opposition to the proposed new motorway, according to the No Gronda Facebook page.