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September 28, 2011

France and Italy agree funding split for Lyon

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THE transport ministers of France and Italy - Mr Thierry Mariani and Mr Altero Matteoli - have agreed to change the contribution each country will make to the first phase of the project to build a high-speed line between Lyon and Turin which involves building a 57km base tunnel at an estimated cost of Euros 8.2bn. Although more construction will take place in Italy than in France, the two ministers have agreed to reduce Italy's contribution from 63% to 57.9% and to increase the French contribution from 37% to 42.1%.
The two ministers will now write a joint letter to Mr Siim Kallas, the European Union's transport commissioner, requesting the release of Euros 642m as the EU's contribution to the first phase of the project. The agreement enables final design of the base tunnel to start.

The total cost of the new line is estimated at Euros 23.6bn and the funding split will be more balanced, with France and Italy each contributing 35% and the EU the remaining 30%.

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