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For over 15 years, protests against the project in the Italian Alpine region of Val d’Aosta have blocked the tunnel’s construction. Resistance movements criticize the TAV project for its cost (over 20 billion euros), and probable environmental damage during the construction of the 57 kilometer long tunnel (world’s longest) to accelerate travel on the route between Milan -Turin-Lyon-Paris, (part of the all-european TEN, Trans-European Conventional Railway) reducing travel time Milan-Paris from 7 to 4 hours and also freight costs. The Turin city council has opposed the TAV project thus far. According to La Repubblica, the TAV Si demonstration yesterday in turn in favor of the project was organized by 7 women who gathered the support of the Democratic Party, Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, the Fascist Fratelli d’Italia and the people of Turin including students of 3 major Turin Licei (high schools). Also Lega chief, Minister of Interior and Vice-Premer Matteo Salvini, Italy’s new strongman, was present, who voiced his support for completion of the TAV project, which his coalition partner, the Five Star Movement, opposes.
So Salvini takes another step toward crushing and eliminating his partner, 5Star Movement from the government coalition. And moreover he somewhat eases tensions with the European Union (EU) which is gradually isolating Italy ostensibly because of its fiscal policies. Charges are not far-fetched that the EU wants to make of Italy another Greece, maybe before Salvini succeeds in forming dangerous international alliances, say with Poland which like Hungary moves ever farther toward pure Fascism. The EU exists, but the shadow of the old splintered Europe of disunited nationalisms seems to hang in the air. A first step may well be a kind of north Europe against a South Europe of Italy, Spain and Greece, (and France???) which is not entirely fable.