Elections are a rum do. Onthe one hand we have the ancient Silvio promising (repromising) the Bridge across the straits of Messina and a Marshall Plan for the south and Sicily, whilst on the other we have a Sicily which is deliberately cutting itself off from its major source of income, ie. tourism. The island boasts 4 airports – Palermo, Catania, Trapani and Comiso. Trapani hosts almost exlusively Ryanair, and has paid the irish company millions over the last years to keep the planes there. Now Alitalia has won a court case against Ryanair/local govt which will probably lead to the stopping of the subsidies and the closure of the airport. Comiso meanwhile is also in a mess. The possibilities for this airport are huge, but the local bigwigs who have manned the various companies that run don’t really have itsbest interests at heart. There are three companies – sac – which runs the Catania airport, Soaco, which runs Comiso and of which SAC is a major shareholder and Intersac which owns the airport and which has SAC a a minority shareholder. Now, the question which has never been answered is whether Catania airport actually wants another airportas competition. To the casual observer SAC has done all it can over the last few years to make sure that Comiso fails to take off. Now Intersac is going into liquidation as it has expenditure but no income. Who will buy Intersac? The obvious answer would be the Chinese or some other private company who wants to create competition for Catania – (bear in mind that Catania is worth over 1 billion euros), but as SAC can block a sale, its probable that SAC itself will buy Comiso to let it close and protect its own market. In most countries such protectionism would be not only illegal, but all the suits in charge would be in prison by now. But not in Italy.
Add to this a planned motorway from Catania to Ragusa which has failed to thus far turn a sod, and the Siracusa – Gela which has stopped short of Ispica as noone has been paid for months. The port of Messina is silted so the ferries can’t run, and the islands infrastructure – essential to a healthy tourist industry – is nonexistent, or falling apart. Instead of any practical plan, Silvio and renzi offer a bridge that will never be built.