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Bridge over the Straits of Messina

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The idea of establishing a connection between Sicily and mainland Europe is an old one. The Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi is determined to see this idea come to fruition and laid the foundations for its planning during his first term in office. A bridge, more than 3 kilometres long and 65 metres in height at its highest point, is to be built in the midst of a region exposed to the risk of earthquakes. First and foremost this bridge is a status symbol, which, by the way, is going to cost approx. EUR 6 bn. Independent of the political controversy accompanying this mammoth project, it also gives rise to numerous judicial issues. The impacts upon the sensitive natural surroundings, protected by Natura 2000, are a source of particular concern; a concern which has been brushed aside by the Italian authorities. Another concern relates to the responsibility of the courts involved. These issues will be discussed critically in this article.


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