Through the new Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, the government lets us know that national policies on major infrastructure should be reviewed immediately: a drastic reduction in the number, transparency, the end of the emergency procedures and variations during construction, realizations with renunciation general contractor; all choices to be implemented with different tools, from political options to urgent regulations, from organizational measures to structural reforms of the Code of public contracts.

These are announcements that are almost forced by the contingent situation (works that collapse, full-blown waste, rampant scandals, increasingly widespread popular opposition) but contradicted by reality. In short, propaganda.

The work of radical revision of the rules and practices of the sector – in itself long and very demanding – to be credible should start from the immediate blocking of the works of all the obviously useless large works object of the determined contestation of the populations residing in the territories invested [1 ] and of that small still independent part of the scientific and information world [2] . But the government is careful.

Indeed, it is precisely the declarations and choices that are made in these days that present intrinsic revealing contradictions.

Indicating 25 works as a priority today [3] (there would be about thirty net of mergers) does not at all mean definitively setting aside the incredible plethora of about 420 projects that are considered useless and included [4] in the lists of works to be carried out in the cumbersome and convoluted process of implementation of objective law no. 443/2001 which began with the unfortunate CIPE Resolution no. 121 of 21.12.2001 and with the legislative decree n. 190/2002.

Many of the works that today Minister Delrio forgets in an unemployed drawer may reappear at any future moment according to changes in political will and according to the capacities of pressure groups [5]. At that point, all you have to do is reactivate a suspended dossier. It would be quite another thing to restore a canceled dossier, and repeat all the procedures starting from feasibility studies, preliminary or definitive projects and environmental impact studies, even observing the disapplied rules that first from 2006 and then from 2012 would require projects to be preceded / accompanied by independent cost-benefit analyzes, by analysis of the risks and managerial sustainability of the works built, by legible economic-financial plans that are not secreted, by a preventive assessment of economic sustainability.

Moreover, excluding a few or many works from the list of priority ones does not at all mean clearly renouncing to provide them with new financial coverage. The annual Strategic Infrastructure Program and the Economics and Finance Document to which it is attached are not the only container in Italy for allocating budgetary resources. Funding for works of all kinds can always appear in new laws, in the multiannual planning documents of the Ministries (with the use of ordinary budget funds), in the specialized sector plans of which the institutional-programmatic framework of the country is full, in the program contracts between the State Railways and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, etc. [6] .

But it is in the 2015 Strategic Infrastructure Program itself that works not included among the 25 priorities reappear listed in various passages [7] .

In short, there is no announcement of reflection on the salient nature of the national policy of great works and public works in general, marked by being the terrain in which it is easier for a few very powerful private subjects to appropriate huge collective resources, producing irreversible devastation of the territory, few lasting goods and benefits, many useless interventions, a growing and increasingly hidden amount of debt [8]in a very long-lasting public deficit framework. Changing this character and doing useful works would mean at least starting processes in which every new decision and every confirmation of the decisions already taken depended exclusively on feasibility studies not conducted by the proponents, were assisted by cost-benefit analyzes not paid by the proponents-designers, contemplated the zero option and above all saw all the subjects involved on an equal footing [9] .

A demonstration of how weak and misleading the government initiative is lies in Delrio’s statements on stopping general contractors. The Minister should know that for about five years in Italy the use of this method of carrying out public works has been practically canceled [10] . If the Minister was referring to the current assignments to general contractors (such as those for the TAV Terzo Valico dei Giovi, Brescia-Verona, Verona-Padua lines) he should also have let us know how he intends to deal with the problem of changes to the existing agreements or even better the problem of (always desirable) revocations of custody, of the related penalties [11]and the settlement of the accrued fees, not to mention the central issue of the blocking of the works for the almost always useless works covered by the contracts. Finally, the Minister failed to tell us whether or not the possibility of using the financial engineering tools producing new debt and the disproportionate incentives available to them – after the regulatory changes in recent years – would be suspended for general contractors with ongoing credit lines . private partners of the public administration, possibly to help hunt for missing financial coverage.

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