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Alpine tunnel angst prompts urgent planning talks

brussels bureau

Alpine tunnel angst prompts urgent planning talks


Against a backdrop of rebellion by inhabitants of the southern Alps, in reaction to high-level plans to develop a major rail link, the president of the Piedmont region, Mercedes Bresso, spoke to EuroNews about continuing efforts to diffuse tensions while moving ahead constructively.

“There are two possibilities. One is an alternative route at the exit of the 53-kilometre tunnel to Turin. I think the alternative solutions are inferior, but they have to be evaluated and analysed. An alternative route from the tunnel is harder. There has to be a tunnel if we want a lot of merchandise to go through,” Bresso said.
During the weekend, she attended an emergency mediation meeting in Rome, with ministers and elected representatives .

The regional president raised the idea of a rail tunnel under the Frejus road tunnel, through the Alps between Lyon and Turin, but this is hypothetical.

Protests over fears the drilling starting in Venaus could release asbestos and uranium turned violent last week. The government in Rome said environmental concerns would be addressed but insisted the high-speed rail link would go ahead.

As the valley is one of the main venues of the 2006 Winter Olympics, the event’s organisers and promoters are concerned that attention from further demonstrations could spoil the Games.

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