Italian President demands roads be made safe following fatal bridge collapse

Italian President Sergio Mattarella demanded guarantees that the country’s roads are safe after comforting mourners at a state funeral in Genoa on yesterday.

He spoke to the families of victims of the Genoa motorway bridge collapse and called the funeral “a moment of grief, shared grief, by all of Italy” as the death toll rose to 43 following the discovery of four more bodies in the rubble.

“I too have travelled over this bridge many times,” he said, demanding authorities carry out their duty “to guarantee the safety of our roads.”

At other bridge funerals on Friday, angry mourners accused authorities of negligence and incompetence for failing to keep the bridge safe.

Criticism has been levelled at the European Union for harsh austerity measures imposed on Italy and European rules capping countries’ budget deficits, leading to cuts to infrastructure funding.

Archbishop of Genoa Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco said the tragedy “gashed the heart of Genoa.”

The government said Autostrade per l’Italia, the company that manages Italian highways and bridges, will never again run the country’s roads.


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