In the letter, signed by several businessmen, association leaders, specialists and academics, the subscribers affirm that "this National Rail Plan [PFN] in its retrograde and nationalist vision, is a plan out of its time, it does not fulfill any objectives defined by the European Union, which are after all global objectives, from Europe to China, of reducing the consumption of fossil fuels, of replacing road transport of goods and passengers with rail, abolition of air transport for distances of less than a thousand kilometers and the continuation of the limitation of individual transport in favor of collective transport, not only at national but worldwide level”.
In the letter, they say that for years they have been trying to "sensitize the government, the Assembly of the Republic and the parties to the reality that the railway policy of the last decade and the NFP are not in conformity, rather oppose European policy". railway interoperability objectives", recalling that "the completion of the main network is regulated by 2030, without technical obstacles to the circulation of trains of all nationalities in all EU countries".
According to the letter, "the railway plan now presented by the government is an internal plan, not interoperable with the rest of Europe, designed to prevent European railway competition from entering Portugal", an "objective already expressed by previous ministers of infrastructure by protecting national railway monopolies and, above all, by condemning Portuguese exports to depend on the logistics centers that Spain has created”.
"It's a plan that has just started and is already two years behind schedule, and which ignores new advances in global rail technology, namely the transport of trucks and semi-trailers of goods on flatbeds. railway forms, as has been done in Europe for years. , a plan that deceives the Portuguese on the concept of high speed and continues to bet on the road transport of goods to Europe, which will be less and less competitive, ”they said, in the same letter.
“The Portuguese government proposes to invest in the so-called modernization of our 2050th century railway, always and only with Iberian gauge, with the promise that in the future (which is now XNUMX) it will proceed again to new investments, with a view, finally, to the adoption of the European gauge", they criticized, considering that it is "an egocentric vision of duplication of investments, which, being very high, are made to last for many years, probably a century and not the twenty years envisaged in this government plan”.
This strategy, they warned, "risks causing Portugal to lose, for lack of credible projects, EU support for investments in the European gauge rail network (which can reach around 70% of the amount to be invested)", granted “by the new CEF-2 program for the period 2021-2027”.
According to the subscribers, "there is still no official confirmation, as of December 22, 2022, of obtaining European funds for the Lisbon-Porto line in Iberian gauge in the application phase which ends on January 18, 2023" , adding that "In the period 2014-2020, the Portuguese government planned to raise 1 million euros from CEF-Geral (funds allocated according to the quality of the projects) and did not even manage an eighth of this amount ".
ALYN // MSF