The "monumental" operation to re-float and remove the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship will start in the next few days.
The project is set to cost £190 million and to take up to a year to complete.
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Taxes will need to rise to pay for a modernised health service, experts have said.
The son of one of those said to be involved in the theft claims the pair did it “for the thrill”.
The crash derailed three train cars.