Toninelli to blame for Venice ship

'Minister of disasters' says PD

(ANSA) - Venice, July 8 - Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli is to blame for Sunday's near-accident by a cruise ship that veered dangerously close to Venice buildings and narrowly missed a yacht just after passing St Mark's Square amid a gale-swept hailstorm in the lagoon city, Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said Monday.
    "The biggest responsibility for what happened yesterday is and for what may happen in the future is on the part of he who did not take a decision in the last few months," Brugnaro said referring to Toninelli's failure to ban the huge liners that play the waters very close to Venice.
    There will be a summit of Venice prosecutors and the harbour master's office later Monday over the incident involving the Costa Crociere ship, sources said earlier.
    As a formality, prosecutor Andrea Pedroni will open a probe against person or persons unknown, judicial sources said.
    The centre-left opposition Democratic Party (PD) called Toninelli "the minister of disasters who has paralysed one of the most strategic ministries for the country's growth".
    PD Senator Andrea Ferrazzi, PD leader on the House environment committee, said "a disaster was averted by a hairs' breadth yesterday".