Italian deputy prime minister blames the EU for the bridge collapse in Genoa 3 years ago

Italian deputy prime minister blames the EU for the bridge collapse in Genoa

The EU didn't build the bridge though...

Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini has called into question whether his country should respect European Union budget constraints, implying that EU spending limits had put lives at risk.

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Salvini, who is head of the eurosceptic Lega Nord party, suggested that EU fiscal rules had prevented the country from spending on infrastructure safety.

Speaking to reporters, Salvini said:

"Another reflection I'd like to make — not just as a minister, but as an Italian citizen — is that there are so many schools, hospitals, railways, rivers, and motorways that need maintenance, but often we're told we can't spend money due to European constraints on our budget, which take our deficit and our GDP into account, amongst other things.

"As a result, I think our next economic move must be centered around the safety of Italians, their right to life, work, and their health. With all due respect, only when those factors have been taken into account should constraints be considered."

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39 people have been confirmed dead after the 80-metre section of the Morandi Bridge came down in an industrial area of the Genia during a storm at about 11.30am on Tuesday.

It is unclear at present what caused the bridge to collapse, which happened as maintenance work was being done on the bridge and as the Liguria region experienced torrential rainfall.

A criminal inquiry into the collapse has been announced.