The regional economy is trying to raise its head after the last “annus horribilis” conditioned by the health emergency which effectively canceled the entire winter tourist season. At the center of the hoped-for “restart” is the Region, which has always been a central player and main “entrepreneur” on the local scene. Test bench is the strategy that the administration is developing in the drafting of its financial documents: the regional budget, just fired by the junta and on the starting blocks for the final launch, and the Economic and Finance Document (Defr) which dictates the overall lines of action.
In 136 pages it is explained that “the recession, albeit of a global nature, has been particularly violent for the Aosta Valley economic system, as it is characterized by sectoral specializations and dimensional aspects that have made it more vulnerable than other territories”. For regional GDP, after last year’s fall, estimated at -9.3 per cent, “an increase of around 6 per cent is expected in 2021. Growth should then continue in the following three years, albeit at a progressively less intense pace (+4 per cent in 2022, +2.9 per cent in 2023 and +1.9 per cent in 2024).
The interventions foreseen in the next three years are numerous. Public works play an important role. The 2022-2024 planning shows interventions for almost 309 million. It includes works for the maintenance of the territory, for the mitigation of hydrogeological risk but not only. On the school building front, 35.6 million euros stand out for the construction of the second lot of the university campus (renovation of the former Beltricco and Giordana barracks and completion of the underground car park under the former Piazza d’Armi) with, however, the need for «Evaluate the alternative ways to find the necessary resources. For the University it is planned to activate “courses of study in line with a more marked international and European vocation, also by promoting networks with French-speaking universities”. The Region intends to enforce the option to purchase the headquarters of the Liceo Bérard in Aosta and move towards the “definitive abandonment of the school complex project in the locality of Tzamberlet”.
In transport, the aim is to continue “the activities for the electrification of the Aosta-Ivrea railway”, to acquire 3 additional bimodal trains with state funding but also “to better redefine the role of the airport, focusing on its vocation as a helicopter rescue center , for civil protection activities and for tourist and sports transport “providing for” a commercial flight segment “. Great attention is paid to cableway installations by strengthening «actions for a unitary management of cableway companies». In the budget, a provision opens to the management by private individuals, in concession, of the “cableway lines which alone, in continuation or in parallel with other public service transport lines, constitute a connection between roads or railways and inhabited centers or between built-up areas, created by means of systems equipped with closed vehicles ». For the Cime Bianche interval connection project, “the central role of the Regional Council in the definitive choices to be made” is reiterated. In addition, the importance of “maintaining an offer of skiing or recreational activities on the snow in the smaller areas” is emphasized and “it is considered important to continue to explore the possibilities of connection between areas, in order to place the Aosta Valley resorts in a better position on the market. and move skiing as a resilient response to climate change to higher altitudes ».