According to a Spanish newspaper, Brussels has urged the construction of a line between Sines, Lisbon and Madrid as quickly as possible.
Conversations between Portugal and the European Commission (EC) about a rail freight line between Sines in the Alentejo Litoral region and Madrid are to continue next week, junior Transport Minister Sérgio Monteiro said yesterday.
Last May, Spanish newspaper ‘El Periodico de Extremadura’ wrote that Brussels had sent a letter to the Portuguese and Spanish governments urging the construction of a line between Sines, Lisbon and Madrid as quickly as possible.
The work schedule “is being drawn up by REFER, the Portuguese railway infrastructure manager, in collaboration with the European Commission services”, Monteiro told reporters.
The minister also said that the country’s state-owned rail freight operator CP Carga would be sold off in the second quarter of 2013.
This is later than originally scheduled as “it was not possible to establish a plan with Spain and France, meaning we could not therefore plan with the EC”.
This lack of plan led to “a reduction in the perceived value of CP Carga, that the government was not willing to turn its back on”, the Jr. minister added.
(Photograph: Miguel A. Lopes/Lusa)