Aug. 18 (UPI) — The Italian government has demanded Autostrade per l’Italia, the company that operates and maintains the Morandi Bridge that collapsed this week, to pay for reconstruction and structural damages in the area.
The bridge in Genoa, which buckled Tuesday, killed at least 39 people and injured several more.
The Italian transport ministry has given Autostrade about two weeks to show that it met contractual obligations by doing safety checks, procedures the company said it performed regularly.
Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini blamed the European Union for strangling his country’s economy. He said Italy needs to spend public money without the “folly” of EU constraints.
“Spending that saves lives, jobs and the right to health must not be part of rigid calculations and of rules imposed by Europe,” Salvini said.
EU commissioners fired back, saying the country has been given plenty of money for Italian infrastructure.
In April, EU presidential spokesman Christian Spahr said $9.6 billion had been earmarked for road maintenance, which covered the Genoa area.