Catalan Euro MP asks the EU to intervene in Spanish infrastructure policies
Ramon Tremosa stresses the ?strategic importance of the Mediterranean railway corridor for Catalonia and Europe? for passengers and freight. The Spanish Government has given priority to other projects connecting Madrid with Spain?s South and West.
Brussels (CNA).- Ramon Tremosa, Euro MP for the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Party (CiU), has asked Europe to intervene in Spain’s infrastructure policies. Considering the strategic importance of such investments for Spain as well as Europe, the intervention would be necessary in the same way the EU already influences Spain’s financial policies to protect the Euro’s stability. The demand comes from the delayed construction of a railway corridor for passengers and freight that would link the Spanish Mediterranean shore with France.
During an act held this week to promote the construction of the Mediterranean railway corridor, the Euro MP asked that Spain's infrastructure policy be guided “by criteria of economic efficiency” and not by “criteria which isolates Catalonia". Catalonia, which represents almost a fifth of Spain’s GDP, is not yet connected to France. Besides, there are not any high speed trains along Spain’s Mediterranean shore, the busiest and richest part of the country. Tremosa was accompanied by Jordi Pujol, Ex-President of Catalonia for 23 years from 1980 to 2003. Pujol said that “Spain’s centralist mentality” which opposes this railway corridor that would join the Mediterranean ports between them and with central Europe “makes no sense”.
The construction of a railway line that would link Catalan, Valencian, Murcian and Andalusian harbours with Europe is backed by the Liberal Group in the European Parliament, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), ALDE considers this cause to be a priority that must be financed by the EU. Unfortunately, the prospects are not very positive; Siim Kallas, European Transport Commissioner, announced this spring that he prefers to promote railway lines in Eastern Europe, where transport is “much poorer”. José Blanco, the Spanish Public Works Minister, has said that he considers the Mediterranean corridor as a simple “complement”. The Spanish Government backs the connection to Europe to be made via the autonomous community of Aragon, as well as the Mediterranean shore. The problem: there is not enough money for everything and priorities are needed.