Italy requests over 37 million euros in Costa damages

Premier wants 10 million for tarnished Italian image

Italy requests over 37 million euros in Costa damages

Grosseto, April 17 - The Italian State has requested over 37 million euros in damages for the Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Tuscany, killing 32 people in January last year. The claim was announced Wednesday during a preliminary hearing for criminal charges against Francesco Schettino, the captain of the liner. The damages requested by the State apply to the first three months of the disaster's aftermath and are linked specifically to costs incurred by the premier's office and the ministries of the environment, transport, economy, defence, and the interior. The premier's office is claiming 10 million euros in damages to Italy's international image, and the environment ministry is calling for 11.5 million euros in environmental damages. Schettino is suspected of multiple manslaughter and abandonment of his post before the evacuation of all 4,200 passengers and crew. The current hearings are expected to run through April 24. Schettino, who is expected to appeal if found guilty, claims his actions saved more lives than were lost and is suing to get his job back after being dismissed by Costa Cruises. The disaster occurred when an allegedly rash maneuver by Schettino resulted in the Concordia hitting a rock reef as the ship sailed close to Giglio Island to 'salute' local people.

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