17.11.2022 - 13:56
Actualització: 17.11.2022 - 14:03
Hundreds of businessmen have gathered on Thursday at the Barcelona International Convention Center to demand once more the Mediterranean railway corridor. Catalan president Pere Aragonès criticized the centralism of the Spanish government and asked to study and analyze whether the executive has diverted investments for the Mediterranean corridor towards other infrastructures. “We are late, it should have been underway for a long time and every year that we do not have the full corridor is a year that we lose in terms of competitiveness and a year that we lose in the fight against climate change”, he concluded.
The railway lobby Ferrmed has called on the European Commission to invest an additional €100 billion to improve the transport infrastructure and put an end to twenty years of “stagnation.” The current projection of the continental executive is to spend €300 billion to optimize the goods-transportation network through trains. In an event that took place on Tuesday in Brussels, the organization lamented the lack of a “coherent” plan at the European level and called for more coordination between states and institutions to improve the network. “Either we invest in the areas with the most traffic or there will be nothing to do,” the president of Ferrmed, Joan Amorós, said in a press conference in Belgium.
Part of the rail network that has been planned to be completed for years is the Mediterranean corridor, the train route extending north-south through Catalonia, connecting the south of Spain with the rest of the continent. Spain’s minister for transport, Raquel Sánchez, stated this week that the works on the Mediterranean corridor train route “are making great progress”, and claims that around 100km of the line will be constructed and in service before the end of the first quarter of next year. The Socialist politician defended that more than 233km are already in service, and predicted that within the next months, that figure will be extended to 330km.
The transport and urban agenda minister said the “current proposal” is for the route to extend all the way to Hungary and that “any modification that involves making the corridor shorter is not the most advantageous option,” after it was revealed that the European Commission is revising the regulation of the European railway network. Last year, the Spanish government set a completion date of 2026 for the Mediterranean corridor, with new plans including a €1.7 billion investment to connect Almería, in Andalusia, with France.