Majority TAV motion to rediscuss project

But govt partners still at odds

(ANSA) - Rome, February 21 - The House on Thursday approved a motion from government partners the 5-Star Movement (M5S) and the League committing the government to "wholly rediscuss the Turin-Lyon high-speed rail (TAV) line project, applying the accord between Italy and France".
    A tussle between the government coalition partners over the controversial rail link continued on Thursday.
    Deputy Premier and Labour and Industry Minister Luigi Di Maio's M5S has long been against the project and its calls for the project to be ditched have increased after a new report commissioned by the transport ministry said it has a negative cost-benefit balance of seven to eight billion euros.
    But fellow Deputy Premier, Interior Minister and League leader Matteo Salvini reiterated on Thursday they he thinks it should go ahead. "The aim is to revise the project, save where it is possible to save, and move forward," Salvini said. Agriculture Minister Gian Marco Centinaio, a League member, said that he would "ask if the TAV has effectively been put on ice" at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.
    However, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Manlio Di Stefano of the M5S said the project should be terminated.
    "It's a project that would cause the Italian people to lose seven billion euros," he said.
    "As far as we are concerned, it should be stopped completely".
    Transport Minister Dario Toninelli said Thursday the M5S would find a solution on the TAV with the League "at most in two weeks".
    "At most in two weeks time we will communicate the solution.
    We'll find a solution with our government allies," he said.
    Toninelli added: "Enough talking about the TAV. The citizens want to hear about so many other projects".
    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Thursday that it was up to France and Italy to decide whether to press ahead with the TAV. "It's a decision that the two republics, France and Italy, must take," Juncker told reporters. "We'll see who wins".
   

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