Brussels, 06/11/2014 (Agence Europe) - The Lyon-Turin railway tunnel project is still at the heart of the European Commission. The latter has responded to criticism from MEPs in the Greens group regarding the planned investment, during the examination of a report on the major Trans-European Transport Network projects (TEN-T) at the transport Parliamentary committee on Tuesday 4 November.
Karima Delli MEP sharply criticised this railway connection project that is due to be funded by France and Italy, with EU support of 40% (by way of the Connecting Europe Facility). She alluded to the, “Titanesque project” and disproportionate investment that provided a socio-economic profitability that is too low (also quoting from the French court of auditors). She therefore examined the relevance of the EU continuing to fund this project and subsequently followed on from the president of the TRAN Committee, Michael Cramer (Greens/EFA, Germany) who asked whether a project was no longer profitable if the costs did not continue to increase (estimates have risen from €12 to €26 billion, Ed) and whether it was still viable.
On Wednesday 5 November, the coordinator for the Mediterranean TEN-T Corridor at DG Mobility and Transport, Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, provided a press release in which he said that the question was not whether, “the Lyon-Turin project will be carried out but when and in what conditions” (€1 billion has already been earmarked). He also confirmed that European Commission “fully” supported the new Lyon-Turin railway link and was expected to enable the modal transfer to the Alps. This update sought to deny the ideas erroneously attributed to the European Commission by Delli. In reality, the remarks made regarding the Lyon-Turin tunnel were made by independent experts during this Parliamentary meeting. (MD)
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