Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti met with French President Francois Hollande in Lyon on Monday, to discuss a new high-speed-rail link between the two countries.
They plan to go full steam ahead with a 26-billion-euro line from Lyon in France, under the Alps, to Turin in Italy.
Speaking of his counterpart, President Hollande said:
“We’ve also got a lot in common, and that is a mutual goal to lead political projects on a European level together and I put the Lyon-Turin project in that category.”
The first trains are currently set to travel on the new line in 2028 at the earliest.
Supporters of the scheme claim it will take a million heavy lorries per year off the saturated roads between Italy and France, as transalpine freight switches to rail.
But the project has been met with furious opposition from environmental activists, as well as those who think it will become a white elephant subsidised by national and European funds, when belts are being tightened everywhere else.