EU's Barroso unveils 50 billion euro growth plan

EU's Barroso unveils 50 billion euro growth plan
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The European Commission on Wednesday unveiled plans to spend 50 billion euros on improving Europe’s transport, energy and internet networks.

Commission president José Manuel Barroso believes this will boost growth and create jobs — it would amount to 0.4 GDP of the European Union’s annual GDP.

Barroso said: “Europe must help to build roads, railways, energy grids, pipelines and broadband networks that are so important to our citizens and businesses.”

If approved by MEPs and governments, the money will come from the next seven-year EU budget for the period 2014 to 2020.

Brussels proposes spending 31 billion euros on transport, including an upgrade of 15,000 kilometres of railtrack to high-speed.

The idea is create a unified transport network and reduce bottlenecks.

The Commission has already identified projects that need investment, such as the London to Swansea rail line in the UK.

“We tried as much as possible to avoid illusional and very spectacular projects, which do not have governments’ backing and that do not have a clear vision of how to complete these projects before 2030,” said Siim Kallas, the European transport commissioner.

More than 18 billion euros will be spent on broadband and energy networks.

Another proposal is to provide funds to project companies with the aim of making bonds issued by them more attractive to institutional investors.

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