Italy: Activists celebrate temporary halt of cruise ships to Venice port

Activists gathered at Punta della Dogana to celebrate Costa Cruises and MSC Cruises decision to not bring their cruise ships into Venice’s port until the end of 2020, in Venice, on Friday. Protesters from the movement 'No Grandi Navi' held banners and flags in a static demonstration. Leader Marco Baravalle said it was thanks to eight years of protests that «bigger ships will not enter the lagoon anymore.» He said that the COVID-19 pandemic and economic issues proved a new challenge for the movement. He hopes to, together with the port's workers, «imagine a new model of port» and «make this boat business sustainable for the environment and the social fabric of the city.» According to local reports, vessels weighing more than 1,000 tonnes will be banned from certain waterways from September. Critics have long complained about the pollution from cruise ships, and five people were injured after a ship crashed into a dock in June. Before the corona outbreak, the Italian coastal city was one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, with tens of millions of visitors flocking to the famous canals each year.

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