FILED - A cruise ship passes the lagoon city Venice pulled by a tug on December 12, 2019. Photo: Felix Hörhager/dpa

(dpa) – The Italian government has given the green light for plans to ban cruise ships from the area around Venice’s city centre.

The cabinet in Rome said after a Wednesday meeting that proposals should be sought out for the construction of berths for large passenger ships and container ships some distance away from historic sites.

A corresponding decree stipulates that large ships must dock outside the Venetian lagoon, Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said.

This will also meet requirements from the United Nations culture organization UNESCO.

Plans for new anchorages for cruise ships had already been put forward by several ministers recently.

Cruise ships in Venice have been a source of controversy for years.

Critics say that giant tourist vessels are an eyesore and an environmental threat, and contribute to tourist overcrowding; their defenders point out that the industry brings jobs to the city.

“It is a fair decision that we have been waiting for for years,” Franceschini said in a tweet.

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