That of the Bridge, on a purely ideological and representative level, is one of the most seductive metaphors in the history of humanity for being suitable for arousing in the collective imagination the idea of "bringing into relationship" otherwise distant entities in order to overcome the condition of isolation between self and neighbor.

Nothing quaestio on the emotional experiential level, it is a question of giving an understandable outlet and satisfaction to the wholly human need to create points of contact by exploiting the conditioning power of an archetype. On a practical level, however, the question would seem to appear in all its complexity: ideological-representative even before factual-constructive. All the more so when the subject of discussion in the last few days was the decree law containing "urgent provisions for the construction of the stable connection between Sicily and the continent". To be clear, that of the bridge over the Strait of Messina (the project for which, according to forecasts, will have to be approved by 31 July 2024), since, in the opinion of the Ministry led by the secretary of the League Matteo Salvini, a priority work to ensure the development of the Noon.

Now, whether the Bridge over the Strait alone (admitted and probably not granted that the work itself is convenient on an economic, ecological, geological and landscape level) is useful for guaranteeing the functional and systematic development of the entire South remains to be seen , and, on balance, it would be legitimate to doubt it, since, with good likelihood, and to the profane and imperative "eye" of the citizen who finds himself conducting even a pure and simple reasoning of the occasion, it would seem to leap to mind be any more appropriate consideration on the lack and/or age of the already existing infrastructures, both on the internal roads and on the railways on a large part of the national territory, including Sardinia.

And yet, the bridge over the Strait, and above all that one, seems to have become the programmatic manifesto of the Ministry of Transport under the aegis of the Meloni government, the ideological image of a titanic design, as probably (the doubtful form is a must), who knows, not exactly indispensable, always assuming and perhaps not granted that it can be achieved given that for about forty years it has been the usual unfinished project that has never been started, which would like to have a concrete experience of unity and diversity.

In short, accounts in hand, will the huge investment that the Italian State will have to support translate into practical experience suitable for improving the quality and quantity of connections between the Region of Sicily and the Peninsula? What is the amount of daily "traffic" currently, numerically speaking, between Sicily and Calabria? The presence of a bridge over the Strait, in the future, responds to an effective growing need for connections between the two shores, for there to be an effective demand in this sense, or the numbers would remain roughly the same and the work would only have a symbolic character which, moreover, would do nothing but increase, if anything, road traffic with every further burden on the pockets of Italians who already have to deal with the increase in the price of fuel?

And then: is it really worth making such an invasive modification on a structural level, precisely in the context of such a wonderful landscape as that of the Strait, linked to the myth of Scilla and Cariddi, to the literary park, to nature? Wouldn't it perhaps be more appropriate, and almost certainly less expensive, to rearrange the maritime traffic of the Strait in an ecologically sustainable manner, through the supply of renewable ships and through the preparation of new ports of call as suggested by some experts in the sector? Every structural work that wants to be useful must first of all confront and adjust itself to the surrounding nature in order not to violate its consistency and morphology. It's not about living room environmentalism but simple common sense, given that our territory, on a national scale, is also and above all renowned for its morphological and geographical characteristics that make it unique. The Minister of Transport should take this into account, and direct his energies to improving existing infrastructures, paying the utmost attention to the most critical areas.

The condition of insularity, if one really intends to give an answer to the problem, and in Sardinia, even before Sicily, the question is decisive, pursuant to articles 174 TFEU and subsequent amendments. and Article 119 of the Constitution, must be discussed, addressed and resolved through specific measures aimed at guaranteeing rebalancing, such as, by way of example but not limited to, territorial continuity, development taxation, incentives and development support measures, infrastructural equalization, aid schemes and so on and so forth. Let me be clear: it is not just a question of pausing to validate principles that are now known and recognized, albeit not always in terms of implementation, by European and domestic law, but to deal concretely with the issue, in order to guarantee equality of citizens and their equal treatment in the effective enjoyment of rights, in the conditions of difference and with regard to the "costs of insularity", especially the Sardinian one, through concrete measures on the legislative level.

In this sense, the Ministry of Transport should be a powerful spokesperson and a concrete and punctual executor. The propaganda purpose should give way to the complexity and criticality of the concrete circumstance. If the ability to intervene on much simpler infrastructures and connections is not demonstrated, how can one even think of embarking on undertakings of dubious success such as that of the bridge over the Strait? Romano Prodi already tried in the eighties, and in the following year 2005, after more than twenty years he had to change his mind. From memory, Matteo Salvini himself, at the time of the Renzi government, said he was against the construction of the bridge: what has changed today? With particular regard to the condition of insularity then, the Judge of the Laws, i.e. the Constitutional Court, has on several occasions shown that he believed, even before the reintroduction of the principle of insularity into the Constitution, that a very important support to the reasons of our Island was offered by the article 27 of the law n. 42 of 2009 which, upon closer consideration, since then, was formulated in such a way as to ensure the use of fiscal and infrastructural equalization mechanisms expressly aimed at guaranteeing the rebalancing of the existing gap.

So, why not take into consideration the problem of insularity, which also involves the Region of Sicily, in its effective consistency, in such a way as not only to attribute a concrete meaning to its reinsertion in the Constitution, but also in order to commensurate the revenue items and expenditure of territorial autonomy, having regard to the effects of economic disadvantage caused by this condition? This must be the real challenge for Matteo Salvini's ministry. Guarantee the viability, the connections, those by road and rail above all, as well as those by air and sea to and from Sardinia, to avoid depopulation and guarantee the connection between inland and coastal areas. These should be the "Bridges" to be built: first the necessary, and only once the necessary has been ensured, can one think, if necessary, of the extraordinary.

Josephine Di Salvatore

(Lawyer – Nuoro)

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