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Bilbao

The PP demands financing of the Santander-Bilbao train from the Government of Spain

The PP demands commitment in the financing of the Santander-Bilbao railway project

Jeickson Sulbaran

December 27, 2023 | 4:44 pm

The Popular Party (PP) has taken a firm position in demanding that the Government of Spain fully finance the railway project between Santander and Bilbao. This request arises after the decision of the European Union not to include this project in the Expanded Basic Network of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), a fact that has generated an estimated cost of around 1.800 billion euros. The 'popular' ones point directly to the PSOE, blaming it for not having included this project in the European network during the negotiations with Europe in 2009 and 2010 and for the lack of recent action to correct this omission.

The PP's position not only focuses on the financing of the project, but also on criticism of the role played by the PSOE in the key stages of its negotiation and development. This situation has led the PP to question the reliability and commitment of the current Government with respect to the financing promise made by the previous Minister of Transport, Raquel Sanchez.

The controversy surrounding the Santander-Bilbao train

In a recent press conference, Iñigo Fernández, deputy and regional senator of the PP, has expressed its dissatisfaction with the management of the Government of Spain in relation to this project. Fernández has highlighted that, despite previous commitments, the Government of Spain has "left Cantabria in the lurch" with regard to the train, aggravating the situation with the lack of significant progress in the last 21 months. This perception of abandonment and paralysis has led the PP to reformulate an initiative that will be debated in the Parliament of Cantabria, focusing on demanding that the central government resume the project and assume all of its financing.

The PP initiative not only seeks to reactivate the project, but also to highlight the role played by the Cantabrian socialists and the leader of the PSOE in Cantabria, Pablo Zuloaga, in the process. Fernández has questioned the absence of concrete actions by Zuloaga to promote the project and has criticized the management of the recent change in the Government delegation in Cantabria.

The role of the Cantabrian socialists and the future of the project

The PP has been critical of the attitude of the Cantabrian socialists throughout the process, especially with Pablo Zuloaga. Iñigo Fernandez has regretted the lack of effort on the part of the socialists to vindicate the project before Madrid and has denounced the recent replacement of the Government delegate in Cantabria as an action that does not contribute to the progress of the Santander-Bilbao train.

Furthermore, the PP has shown its concern about the state of other infrastructure in Cantabria, such as the Torrelavega highway junction, and has expressed skepticism about the commitment of the new Minister of Transport, Óscar Puente, to projects in the community. For the PP, the current situation is a reflection of the abandonment of Cantabria by the Government of Spain, a feeling that intensifies when observing the management and knowledge of the commitments acquired with the region.

The demand of the PP commented by Iñigo Fernandez to fully finance the Santander-Bilbao train to the Government of Spain, reveals a series of political and administrative tensions. This case becomes an example of how political decisions and negotiations at the highest levels can have a direct and significant impact on local infrastructure projects and public perception of government effectiveness.

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