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Genoa

Genoa stops to mourn, one month after bridge diaster

President calls for action, mayor says it's 'our Ground Zero'

Genoa stops to mourn, one month after bridge diaster

Genoa, September 14 - Genoa stopped to mourn the 43 victims of the Morandi-bridge disaster at 11:36 on Friday, exactly one month after the viaduct collapsed. Shops closed shutters, tax and bus drivers switched off engines and people stopped in the street to show their respects. President Sergio Mattarella called for action for Genoa on Friday. "Genoa is not waiting for good wishes and reassurances, but concrete decisions and behaviour," Mattarella told daily newspapers La Stampa and Il Secolo XIX. "It was hit by an unacceptable tragedy. Reconstruction is a duty. "Regaining normalcy and hope must be made to happen. "It is necessary to do this rapidly, with absolute transparency, with the maximum competence". The cabinet on Thursday approved a decree with tax breaks and aid for businesses and local people, with the homes of hundreds of families made unfit for use by the disaster, but it did not name a commissioner for the reconstruction of the crucial viaduct. Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli said Friday that the government should be able to appoint a commissioner with special powers for reconstruction within two weeks. "I wouldn't worry too much about the name," Toninelli told RAI television. "Who does it is not what counts. What counts is that it is done". Liguria Governor Giovanni Toti said that ensuring justice is done is the biggest priority. "Justice is the first thing, knowing what happened, what caused something like this," Toti said before a minute-silence ceremony for the victims of the disaster. "The prosectors are doing an extraordinary job and the courtroom will tell us what happened". Toti also called on central government not to hamper efforts for the northern city to get back to normal. The governor recently presented a project for a viaduct to replace the collapsed Morandi bridge, designed by world renowned architect Renzo Piano and featuring the involvement of highways company Autostrade per L'Italia. Central government has said it does not want the highways company involved as it failed to prevent the disaster. "We have taken on the burden of the emergency for a month, doing an extraordinary job, and today we ask the government to be able continue, to have help, not disturbance, because the only job now is to reopen the bridge," Toti said. Genoa Mayor Marco Bucci compared the ruins of the collapsed Morandi bridge to New York's Ground Zero. "The collapse of the Morandi was a terrible tragedy for us Genoese," Bucci said before a minute's silence for the victims. "Like Ground Zero for New York, a city that was capable of emerging from disaster very well. "We want to do the same thing. "Genoa is not on its knees. "Today we remember the victims and we think about reconstruction to emerge from the tragedy with a city that is stronger and greater than before".

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