Raquel Sánchez: “In 2025 or 2026 the connection between Almería and France will be ready”

The businessmen have asked the minister not to miss “the opportunity to let Spain miss the train of progress”

New delay. The Minister of Transport, Sustainability and Urban Agenda, Rachel Sanchez Jimenez, has promised this Wednesday that in “2025 or 2026” the connection of the Mediterranean Corridor that connects Almería with the French border is ready. but he has made no mention of the rest of the infrastructure. “I am in a position to say that in 2025 or 2026, at least to the connection between Almeria and France will be executed, all the sections that are currently under execution will be executed, “said Sánchez Jiménez in front of more than a thousand businessmen gathered this Wednesday in Madrid to ask for speed in the railroad tracks that aspire to connect Algeciras and France through high speed.

“I want to be a minister committed to the Corridor and I am a committed minister because this Government is a committed Government & rdquor ;, has assured Sánchez Jiménez. The Ministry for Transport adds an amount of 6,000 million euros in the General State Budgets (PGE) that are currently being processed in the Congress of Deputies, of which more than 1,200 million will go to the Mediterranean Corridor. “That is the amount consigned and that will allow us to move forward. I hope that helps to put more sections into service & rdquor ;, he added.

Specifically, Sánchez has promised to have the Murcia section ready, to connect it with Madrid, Cuenca, Albacete and northern Spain. Also the port of Tarragona, to link it with the rest of Europe, as well as other logistics links such as La Llagosta. Also the high speed between Valencia and Castellón so that they stop interfering in the Cercanías services (double track between Valencia and Castellón), or the “direct and high quality” connection between Granada and Malaga through Antequera. “We will be in a position to connect the three capitals of the Valencian Community with standard gauge”, Sánchez Jiménez has conceded.

“We are in the good trailThey have those budgetary commitments and the political will is translating into tangible progress. In addition, we have another element that pressures us, which is the help of European funds that, in addition, defines us some temporary milestones because we will have to execute everything committed by European funds for the Mediterranean Corridor before 2026 “, he explained.

Ten years of promises

They fear them and lament the constant delays that have occurred in recent years. “If the successive governments of Spain had taken seriously the Mediterranean Corridor, this could have been built ten years ago. We lost that train and everything indicates that we will lose the one in 2025, let’s help not to lose more trains,” he said after the words of the minister, the president of the Valencian Association of Entrepreneurs (AVE), Vicente Boluda.

The president of AVE had previously addressed Rachel Sanchez to tell him that “a lot of data will sound familiar” because they have been “repeating it for five years and suffering it for 25”. “Minister, you have a unique opportunity; the opportunity to let Spain miss the train of progress and the train of the 21st century, the Mediterranean Corridor “, Boluda has inquired. The truth is that the first time that the public authorities focused on this corridor was in the hands of Jose Blanco (PSOE) in 2011, when he promised that in 2020 he would be ready. A few years later (2013), the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo, claimed it as the backbone network for Europe and in 2014, the Minister of Public Works, Ana Pastor, “left it up in the air.”

On 2016Given the successive delays in the promises, the businessmen organized themselves to try to pressure the different governments to promote this initiative. “De la Serna told us in 2017 that we had to be realistic, that the works between Almería and Murcia had begun shortly before and would not be ready,” they explained at the event through a video. However, the former Minister of Transport, Jose Luis Ábalos, promised that in 2025 the Mediterranean corridor could be ready, thanks to European funds. Her successor, Raquel Sánchez, seems to be delaying that reality, although she assures that by then the main section that connects Levante with France will be ready.

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The Chairman of CaixaBank, Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri, has assured that “so that the recovery process is not a flower of a day and we have the capacity to be structural, we need to boost the productivity of our economy” and “if there is something paradigmatic in this transformation it is the Mediterranean Corridor”. “Behind him there are two ideas, the combination of radial Spain and circular Spain, and another the economic relationship, from the structural point of view”, added Goirigolzarri. For his part, the economist Fernando Trías de Bes has defended that “in a global world and with online commerce, which has advanced in one year what it should have advanced in five, the nexus between port and land transport has become one of the geopolitical competitive advantages”. “Every day without a runner, Spain loses an unparalleled economic opportunity,” he added.


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