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(Automatic translation)

Benigno Blanco appeals to "intra-European" solidarity to guarantee connections through the Pyrenees

Benigno Blanco appeals to the "intra-European solidarity" to ensure the connections through the Pyrenees

The Secretary of State for Infrastructure Development Ministry considers it essential to reach agreement with France to avoid the Iberian Peninsula remains isolated from the rest of Europe.

Pamplona, ​​October 15 2002 and 2000 2010.- Between the Ministry of Public Works plans to invest in high-capacity roads amounting to 39.000 million euros, 38% of the total budget of the Infrastructure Plan. According to this morning said Benigno Blanco during the opening ceremony of the XXIV Road Week which is held in Pamplona from today until next Friday-, financing of the measures envisaged in this Plan "is guaranteed" by a side, through the European Funds under Agenda 2000 negotiated in Berlin, with a total of 13.000 million euros between 2000 and 2006; and secondly, with the line items in the General State Budget for 2003.

"We hope that this effort has continued through agreements with countries adjacent to ours, and get the old borders are not a barrier to real interconnection between all countries of the European Union". For the Secretary of State for Infrastructure, "any obstacle that is arbitrarily set to delay or prevent the development of cross-border communications and trans would seriously curtail productive and economic capacities of the Union".

Currently, and as revealed in the same forum the Deputy Director of Investment in Highways General Directorate of Roads of France, Thierry Louis, the priorities of the French government in transport are aimed primarily at the rail and maritime modes . In the neighboring country there is strong social pressure that has made the road "mode to be avoided as, seeking less harmful solutions."

The complexity of environmental legislation gala and important differences between systems management and financing of roads in both countries hinder the negotiations. "One of the great battles that remain from the Highways Agency is the decentralization of road skills, in order to achieve higher level of management at regional level. This transfer of powers to the regions could be a change in current road policies in the Pyrenees, "said Louis.

But the truth is that while policies one line and another country try to find a common ground, the most optimistic forecasts suggest that in less than twenty years the volume of goods transported between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe it will increase by about 120 million tons.

Faced with this situation, the representative of the French General Directorate of Roads insists modal rebalancing as the best solution. The same view is the Directorate General for Energy and Transport, Trans-European Networks, the European Commission, the Director, the Spanish Alfonso Gonzalez Finat, said rail transport as the key to solving the congestion problems that exist in different sections of the trans-European road network.

As stated in the White Paper on Transport Commission until 2010 heavy vehicle traffic in the EU 50% increase. "Faced with this worrying situation -HA sustained Finat- González, the EC has put on the table a series of measures intended to concentrate the priorities on the railroad. In fact, among the proposals no major road project is not contemplated."

In any case, the content of the White Paper on Transport is currently being discussed in the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Council, and in November, as announced by Alfonso Gonzalez Finat, start working a group of high-level advise the Commission on measures to be taken to solve the problems that have been described.

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