Venetian mayor calls for city's preservation
Responds to cruise ship controversy saying active care needed04 November, 19:04
''The bottom line is that the Venice Lagoon must be maintained, as it has been through the centuries, otherwise we will no longer be here talking about Venice. It needs to be managed. Whether we arrive at the excavation of other canals - something that leaves me perplexed - hydrologists and other experts will say,'' the mayor said. ''An offshore port is a solution that needs to be looked at with interest and attention, but regards cargo and not passengers. The idea of a terminal at the inlets seems to me a classic intermediate solution that doesn't solve any needs. To sum up, the only objective is to protect the city and its environment and, personally, I think that the least number of interventions possible should be taken, but coordinating them all with the economic needs of the city,'' Orsoni concluded.
As many as 33 people leapt into the Guidecca canal on September 21 to protest the passage of large cruise ships.
Identified protestors were charged with violating laws against swimming in the canal, which has important boat lanes.
Many fear the ships, which can disgorge thousands of tourists into the Medieval city, are destroying its culture.
Concerns about the large cruise ships in the historic lagoon city's waters have sparked protests in the past from residents, environmentalists and politicians.
Fears grew after a reported near miss in July.
Witnesses reported that a 100,000-ton Carnival Sunshine passed within 20 meters of the Riva Dei Sette Martiri waterfront, not far from St Mark's Square.
Calls for thinning or stopping the passage of cruise ships first gathered pace after the international headlines made in January 2012 when 32 people were killed after the Costa Concordia cruise ship crashed off the coast of Tuscany.