At the center of the controversy: the Mose project, supposed to protect Venice from rising waters, but which has fallen far behind.
In Venice, the high tide reaches historical records. The city is on high alert. The tide is not the only one to rise, a controversy against a background of popular anger is beginning to invade the country. At the center of the controversy is the Mose (“Moses” in French). This system must ultimately protect the entire lagoon from rising waters. The idea of this heavy and complex device was born after 1966, the year of a record high tide. The project has been slow to start, the work only started in 2003 and is not yet finished. For the moment, the work has been done at 93%. Despite this, some would have wanted the Mose activated to avoid the disaster of this rising waters, but the system is obviously not ready. The engineer in charge of the project even declared that to operate it would be like “driving a Ferrari without brakes”.
The city hall and the region of Veneto turn to the state, which is the owner. Many in Italy point to bureaucracy, which has slowed down the execution of the work. This situation provokes great emotion throughout the country, a solidarity movement with Venice has even formed. The mayor of the city, Luigi Brugnaro, has already opened a bank account for all those who want to pay a contribution to help Venice to get up. The Serenissime is in a way compared to the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, which had benefited from a large mobilization to help its reconstruction in April.
The mayor therefore hopes that the global impact of the images of the city under water will encourage people to participate in its safeguarding. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Saturday (November 16th) that Italian embassies will mobilize to raise funds abroad. Meanwhile, the tourists, them, remain present. As the water level began to fall again, they stormed the footbridges of St. Mark's Square to visit the famous basilica. Another visit, symbolic this time: that of a delegation of the national football team. One way to show that despite the flaws of the state, the Venetians are not alone in this ordeal.
The water should also return to St. Mark's Square. Saturday, November 16, the peak was smaller than expected, with 98 centimeters instead of 110 announced. Sunday, the tidal center of the municipality of Venice provides a peak of 160 centimeters for mid-day.