February 12, 2019 / 10:46 AM / 2 months ago

Italy transport ministry gives thumbs down to TAV rail link

ROME, Feb 12 (Reuters) - A cost-benefit analysis commissioned by Italy’s transport ministry on a new high-speed railway link with France has branded the project a waste of public money, saying it would have a “strongly negative” financial return.

The document, which has been at the centre of a political tussle between Italy’s two ruling parties, was published on the transport ministry website on Tuesday.

The report estimated that adding together the cost of building the Alpine route and the projected economic return produced a negative balance of some 7 billion euros ($7.90 billion). This figure fell to 5.7 billion euros when taking into account the cost of halting work which is already underway.

The project, known as the TAV, is due to link the French city of Lyon with Italy’s Turin. While the far-right ruling League party wants the line to be built, its coalition partner the 5-Star Movement wants the link to be binned. ($1 = 0.8866 euros) (Reporting by Stefano Bernabei and Giselda Vagnoni; Editing by Crispian Balmer)

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