More than 10,000 demonstrators from Calabria and Sicily took part in protests held in Messina on 22 January against the building of a bridge across the Straits of Messina, which divides the Italian mainland from Sicily. The demonstrators claim that the bridge will have a severe impact on the environment, it will be at great risk from earthquakes, the traffic using the bridge will be less than predicted and it will cost almost twice the current estimate of 4.4 billion to build. The single span of the bridge will be 3.3 km; at present the longest single span of any bridge in the world is 1.9 km. The mayors of the cities at either end of the bridge, Villa S. Giovanni and Messina, took part in the demonstration as they feel that the building of the bridge is not a priority.
The demonstrators in Messina were joined by 400 demonstrators from the Val di Susa in the north of Italy who are protesting against the building of a high speed train link between Turin and Lyon in France.