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880 million euro for transport projects in Greece

12 September 2014 / 17:09:05  GRReporter
3168 reads

Simona Peneva

The European Commission will grant Greece 880 million euro for transport projects in the period 2014-2016, as announced by its Vice-President and Commissioner for Transport Siim Kallas. The state will use the highest percentage of these funds for research activities. One of the routes of the main Atlantic - Eastern Mediterranean transport network passes through Greece. It connects the German ports of Bremen, Hamburg and Rostock through the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and a section in Austria, Hungary, and the Romanian port of Constanta, the Bulgarian port of Burgas, and a connection to Turkey and to the Greek ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki with the "Marine highway" to Cyprus. The project consists of rail and motor roads, airports, ports and the inland waterways of the Elbe River. The busiest railway section is Timisoara-Sofia. One of the projects that can be funded is the railway line of the routes Vidin - Sofia - Burgas, Sofia - Thessaloniki - Athens/Piraeus.

The total amount that the European Commission will invest in transportation projects is 11.9 billion euro. This is the largest single amount of European funding that will be used for the transport infrastructure. The Member States may submit proposals up to 26 February 2015. The funding will focus on nine major routes that will form a major transport network, which in turn will provide good economic development of the private market. The main goal of the funding is to reduce the traffic, radically change the East-West relations and improve the cross-border transport for both private companies and citizens throughout the European Union.

"Transportation is of great importance for an efficient EU economy, due to which investments in transport connections are more important than ever. The Member States should take advantage of this chance, request funding and build better relationships in order to become more competitive and offer easier and faster transportation services to citizens and businesses," said Siim Kallas.

Under the new financial mechanism, named "Connecting Europe", the funding of transport services on the part of the European Union has tripled and amounts to 26 billion euro for the period 2014-2020. These innovations, the tripled amount to fund the transportation services and the decision for the focus to be on nine major routes indicate that this is the most radical change in the European infrastructure policy. Before being approved, the projects will be evaluated by three independent experts.

The nine routes are as follows: Baltic Sea - Adriatic Sea, North Sea - Baltic Sea, Mediterranean, east route/east Mediterranean, Scandinavia - Mediterranean Sea, Rhine - the Alps, the Atlantic Ocean, North Sea - Mediterranean Sea, Rhine - Danube.

The plans will be financed with European funds but the Member States have to be financially involved in their realization in parallel. Under the plan, the funds to finance the projects for the main network will be as follows: up to 50% co-financing by the European Union for research; up to 20% for work (for example, increasing the opportunities for the construction of a large tunnel); the co-financing for cross-border projects to link railroads and inland waterways may increase by up to 40%; for some projects for smart transport systems such as ERTMS (The European Railway Traffic Management System) the increase in the co-financing may reach 50%. The new main transport network, which should be ready by 2030, will connect 94 large European ports with rail, road and water networks; 38 major airports with rail connections and large cities, 15,000 km rail network, renewed, with high-speed lines; 35 cross-border projects to reduce the traffic.

The new transport network will ensure safer transportation, less traffic and fewer jams, and easier and faster trips. It is expected that the transportation of goods will increase by 80% by 2050, and of passengers by 50%. Economic growth requires business transactions that in turn require transportation but some regions in Europe have no good connections and opportunities to develop.

Tags: European CommissionFunds for transportCorridorsGreeceMediterranean SeaProjectsApplication
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