Harsh weather conditions cause widespread discontent

ROME - Italy continues to suffer under harsh weather conditions, bringing major cities to a standstill.

 The cold weather from Siberia has hit Italy hard, covering cities such as Naples and Rome under a thick layer of snow.

 The unusually low temperatures, heavy snowfall and rainfall have seemingly paralysed the Italian transport system, with widespread criticism from the public regarding the long queues, delays and cancellations.

 Graziano Delrio, minister of infrastructure and transport called for “no more similar events.”

 The railway system has come under particularly heavy fire, due to lingering snow and ice on train tracks causing severe disruptions. However, today the train timetable is gradually regaining normalcy, with more lines back in service and fewer delays and cancellations.

 Following the failure of the railway service’s attempt to deal with the harsh weather conditions, the managing directors Renato Mazzoncini of Fs and Maurizio Gentile of Rfi, have promised a 100-million-euro investment plan, intended to improve the main railway junctions.

 The engineer and former consultant of Fs, Sandro Simoncini, expressed the need for improvements in railway infrastructure, saying that “more maintenance” is necessary in order improve the service and ensure it is less likely to “collapse in critical situations" in the future.

 The Italian system has received further criticism from the public regarding the shortage of salt and snowploughs to deal with the snow. In Rome, around 4 million tonnes of salt had been purchased last minute, however, the process of distributing it has been both slow and inefficient.

 However, with temperatures due to increase steadily over the weekend, the extreme weather conditions and feelings of frustration in society should start to subside.