New Port of Naples president takes office

The Port of Naples

 NAPLES -- After over five years of compulsory administration, the Port of Naples finally has a new head -- Pietro Spirito.

 Earlier this week, the new president took his seat in office at Autorità di Sistema Portuale del Tirreno Centrale (AdSP), the authority in charge of managing the ports of Naples, Salerno and Castelammare di Stabia.

 Native of Campania, the fifty-four year old Political Science Major from the University of Naples Federico II is a transportations expert. His curriculum vitae includes ATAC, the Rome city transport service, where he has held the title of Central Strategic Director and Interportoin Bologna, where has led the general management. He worked for the Ferrovie dello Stato for eighteen years, managing the cargo division of Trenitalia and has also taught Transport Economics at LUISS University for their Master’s EMBA program. He still teaches Transport Economics at the University of Tor Vergata in Rome.

 Problems that have paralyzed the Naples Port Authority for years involving ongoing investigations have revealed issues of non-transparency. “I’m going to collaborate with magistrates and anyone else who wants to see clearly,” said the newl president. “The Port Authority System has to become a transparent place where everything happens in broad daylight. In order for this to happen, I’m planning on working together closely with the head of anti-corruption Raffaele Cantone and even the Prefect of Naples. I’d like to have stable dialogue with prefect Gerarda Pantalone in order to check everything, starting from job contracts for which I’d like to use only companies included in a white list”, asserted Spirito.

 President of Campania Region De Luca gave his full support for Infrastructure and Transport Minister Delrio’s choice in nominating the expert to lead the Tyrrhenian ports earlier last month.

 The Mayor of Naples, Luigi de Magistris, has equally welcomed the nomination of the new Port Authority Manager positively, saying that “after five years of being under compulsory administration, having lost European funds and havng been under a state of mere ordinary management, we hope that President Spirito will bring concreteness to the port of Naples that really needs relaunching.”

 “You see,” the city leader added, “ when you come out of compulsory management, it’s always good news. I’m convinced in the next few weeks and few months we’ll proceed in this direction and fly high.” Never having met the new Port Authority President personally, the mayor simply stated, “As always, I’ll be judging by the facts. We’ll certainly be giving him the highest level of collaboration.”

 Governance reform for the ports of Italy was officially passed, becoming a law at the end of August with legislation dlgs 169 on the Gazzetta Ufficiale regarding the “Reorganization, rationalization and simplification of the discipline concerning the Port Authority legislative framework, pursuant to law no. 84 of 28 of Jan. 1994, approved on July 28, 2016 by the Council of Ministers.”

 The new legislative decree has set the ball rolling for an epic change in the field.

 In a matter that had seen no structural reform for more than 20 years, the Renzi government reform aims at giving the nation’s ports the necessary momentum to further change what the aging preceding norm was limited to carrying out, given the demanding needs in the modern transportation of goods.

 In addition to the reorganization of ports, an even larger Port Strategic Plan and Logistics has gone into effect and is to include a real national system made possible with funds allocated by the European Union.

 The newly adopted strategy foresees a series of operations to better maritime and land connection, like the introduction of a ‘fast corridor’ railway for merchandise seaports.

 The Ministry is also counting on the integration of the logistics and functional coordination of docks with dry portand logistics platforms.

 There are even quality improvements planned for the last mile railway connections of the port and incentives for the transport of merchandise from railway to cargo ships like Ferrobonus and Marebonus, that have been subjects of discussion between the government and Brussels.

 In an attempt at simplifying the outdated port system, this new legislation reduces the current 24 Port Authorities (that coordinated 30 ports) to a 15 Port Authority System (AdSP), centralizing port decisions in Rome around the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport.

 With the unification of ports under single area management scheduled to take place within a few months, four areas have asked for a 36-month grace period to facilitate transition to the new system already in vigour. The areas are: Liguria (with the fusion of Genoa e Savona), Sardegna (with the fusion of Cagliari and Olbia), Campania (with the fusion of Napoli and Salerno) and Sicilia (with the fusion of Gioia Tauro and Messina). Although Delrio has a three-year extension limit to work within, the Ministry has to decide whether or not to concede it and establish how long the grace period will last.

 In the meantime, Del Rio has had to send out a letter for circulation to current Port Authorities, instructing them to avoid establishing anything that could interfere with the programming and planning procedures already underway for the new system.  

 Pressure equally continues from Brussels that has broadsided the port of Naples, and in particular the Port Authority, admonishing it to justify the millions and millions of Euros that have been spent in favour of private companies.


New port president Pietro Spirito