Minister calls for removal of Concordia by end of 2013

Weather permitting work to finish by end of year

Minister calls for removal of Concordia by end of 2013

Livorno, May 3 - Italy's newly-appointed environment minister Andrea Orlando on Friday called for the Costa Concordia cruise ship to be removed by the end of 2013 from the coast off the Giglio island, where it has been stranded on its side since it slammed into a rock formation last year. "The Costa Concordia ship should not be on Giglio Island's horizon next year", Orlando said following a technical meeting held with local authorities to discuss the removal of the gigantic vessel. The Costa Concordia carrying 3,200 passengers hit a rock off the small Giglio island on the Tuscan coast in January 2012, and slowly flipped on its side as a large gash in its hull sucked water into the ship. An ongoing criminal investigation is seeking to determine responsibilities in the disaster, which resulted in 32 dead. The luxury ship is so big it can be clearly identified in satellite pictures. Orlando was sworn in last Sunday as part of the new government headed by Premier Enrico Letta.

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