Mercoledì, 24 Ottobre 2018
LYON

Italy, France confirm Turin-Lyon rail link

English
© ANSA

Lyon, December 3 - Italy and France on Monday
signed a joint statement confirming that a contested high-speed
rail link between Turin and Lyon will be completed on schedule.
Final work on the line is scheduled to start in 2014 and
take about seven years.
Italian Industry Minister Corrado Passera and French
Trasport Minister Frederic Cuviller signed the statement at a
Franco-Italian summit in Lyon.
At Rome talks with French President Francois Hollande in
September, Italian Premier Mario Monti described the
project as "fundamental" while Hollande confirmed his
government's commitment to complete the line.
Construction of the so-called TAV line has sparked staunch
opposition since it requires digging a tunnel in the Valle di
Susa valley near Turin.
Naysayers argue that the line will create pollution and
harm the area's natural beauty and maintain that the money would
be better spent on improving public transport locally.
Supporters of the project, including most Italian political
parties and the European Commission, say the link will actually
reduce pollution by minimizing freight traffic on the road.
The movement against the tunnel has seen numerous episodes
of violence over the last several years and included arrests as
opposition has grown increasingly hostile.
The line did not meet much opposition on the French side
until recently, when protests burgeoned over the link's cost,
impact and utility.
The Italian government has repeatedly reiterated that the
project is necessary and must go ahead.
In July Paris daily Le Figaro reported that the French
government was considering reviewing and possibly scrapping 10
high-speed railway lines, including the Turin-Lyon link, due to
high costs and a drop in freight traffic as a result of the
recession.
France subsequently confirmed its commitment to the project
but said a new funding agreement was required.
The high-speed train would cut by half - just four hours -
the time it takes to travel between Paris and Milan.

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