MOSE obsolete but must be finished

Venice must be protected ASAP says FM, M5S chief

(ANSA) - Rome, November 14 - Venice's MOSE flood-barrier system must be finished despite its being already obsolete, Foreign Minister and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) leader Luigi Di Maio said after floods devastated the lagoon city killing two people on Monday.
    Projects like MOSE, which are currently due to be up and running in 2021, were "born old and stuffed with kickbacks and corruption but now, although it isn't the best possible solution, it must be completed as soon as possible to protect Venice immediately", he said.
    "We won't pretend not to see where the blame lies," he said.
    In September the updated 2018 balance sheet of the consortium building MOSE said the flood barriers will be handed over to the city council at the end of 2021 to protect the lagoon city from acqua alta or high water levels such as the 187 cm tide that hit Monday, the highest in 50 years.
    The innovative and complex system of barriers, which cost 74 million euros in 2018 alone, will be completed at the end of June 2020, ushering in the final phase of testing.
    Launched in 2003 and originally slated for completion in 2016, the MOSE project to build a system of retractable dikes has been at the centre of a slew of corruption scandals.
    MOSE stands for MOdulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico, or Experimental Electromechanical Module, and echoes Moses of parting the Red Sea fame.
    The 5.5 billion euro (up by 1.3 billion form the first estimate) project is intended to protect the city of Venice and the Venetian Lagoon from flooding.
    The project is an integrated system consisting of rows of mobile gates installed at the Lido, Malamocco, and Chioggia inlets that are able to isolate the Venetian Lagoon temporarily from the Adriatic Sea during acqua alta high tides.
    Together with other measures, such as coastal reinforcement, the raising of quaysides, and the paving and improvement of the lagoon, MOSE is designed to protect Venice and the lagoon from tides of up to 3 metres (9.8 ft).
    The Consorzio Venezia Nuova is responsible for the work on behalf of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport - Venice Water Authority.
    Construction began simultaneously in 2003 at all three lagoon inlets, and as of June 2013, more than 85% of the project had been completed.


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