Venice Locals, Ship Companies Clash on Ship Issue
For a long time, the city of Venice, Italy, has suffered from the combined problems of flooding and sinking. On Monday, heavy winds pushed tides over the city's sea walls, flooding most areas.
The population of Venice also has been falling for years. At the same time, the number of visitors to the city continues to rise. Many Venetians are not happy about that. They do not want the city to become what some are calling a "Disneyland on water." Their biggest objection is to the huge cruise ships that stop at Saint Mark's Square.
For a long time, Venetians have called the cruise ships "monsters." They say the ships are ugly and that they block local sights. The ships also damage the bases of the city's historic buildings.
Last year, the interest group No Big Ships organized a vote on the cruise ships issue. 18,000 Venetians took part in the June vote. Almost 99 percent of them voted to bar cruise ships from the area.
Later that year, the Italian government announced it would ban huge ships from Saint Mark's Square, Grand Canal and other historic areas. The order is to take effect over several years.
The cruise industry is protesting the plan. It says it will hurt Venice, and Italy's, economy.
Cruise companies say they want to protect the places their ships visit. They say the business brings economic benefits to port cities.
Roberto Martinoli is the president of Cruise Lines International Association. He spoke to VOA News in Rome.
He said the cruise industry represents nearly three percent of Venice's economy. He said cruise ships are responsible for less than 10 percent of Venice's water traffic and less than five percent of visitors to the city.
The cruise industry has spent billions of dollars on environmental research and development projects, Martinoli added.
But, many in the city argue that the damage from cruise ships outweighs the economic benefit from tourist dollars.
At a demonstration earlier this year, Stefano Micheletti of the No Big Ships campaign shared opinions common to many Venetians.
Micheletti said large ships must stay out of the area to protect the ecosystem. He said they cause pollution that is ruining the historic city.
I'm Alice Bryant.
1.take effect 生效；实施
International sanctions were beginning to take effect.
2.be responsible for 对...负责
We are all entirely responsible for our actions, and for our reactions.
3.cruise ships 游轮
She's been working on the cruise ships for years.
4.stay out of 远离
He warned the army to stay out of the way of the relief effort.
5.For a long time, the city of Venice, Italy, has suffered from the combined problems of flooding and sinking.
For a long time 长期以来
We haven't corresponded for a long time.
This account has remained unsettled for a long time.
6.18,000 Venetians took part in the June vote.
took part in 参加
Three-quarters of the country's workers took part in the strike
She took part in a BBC radio phone-in programme.
长期以来，意大利的威尼斯一直饱受洪水和下沉问题的困扰 。周一，强风助推着潮水越过城市的海堤，淹没了大部分地区 。
多年来，威尼斯的人口也不断下降 。与此同时，这里的游客数量却在不断攀升 。许多威尼斯人对此满腹怨言，他们不想让这座城市成为某些人所说的“水上迪尼斯乐园 。”他们最反感的就是停泊在圣马克广场的巨型游轮 。
一直以来，威尼斯人称这种游轮为“怪兽 。”他们表示，这些船只外形丑陋，并且遮挡了当地的美景 。这些巨轮甚至破坏了这座城市历史建筑的地基 。
去年，“无巨轮”利益团体组织了一场针对游轮问题的投票 。1.8万名威尼斯人参加了这场6月份举行的投票 。约99%的人投票决定禁止游轮进入该市 。
同年晚些时候，意大利政府宣布将禁止大型船只停靠圣马克广场、大运河以及其它历史性区域 。该命令将在未来几年内生效 。
游轮业正在对该计划发起抗议 。他们指出，这会损害威尼斯和意大利的经济 。
游轮公司表示，他们希望保护游轮停靠的地域 。他们称，这一商机为港口城市带来了经济效益 。
罗伯托·马丁诺利(Roberto Martinoli)是国际游轮协会的总裁 。他在罗马接受了美国之音的采访 。
他说，游轮业占威尼斯经济总量的约3% 。他说，而游轮占威尼斯水上交通量还不到10%，以及游客总量不到5% 。
在年初的一场示威活动上，“无巨轮”活动的斯蒂法诺·麦克莱蒂（Stefano Micheletti）与很多威尼斯人的观点一致 。
麦克莱蒂表示，大型船只必须远离该地区以保护生态系统 。他指出，这些船只造成的污染正在摧毁这座历史名城 。