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Portugal: Decisions soon on airport, TGV


Portugal's two headline infrastructure projects have been stuck in neutral for two long, and Prime Minister Antonio Costa says he's ready to take advantage of a political shift to move them forward.

The two projects are the location of a second airport for Lisbon, and a route for the proposed high-speed train to link Portugal's north and south, and especially its two biggest cities, Lisbon and Porto.

Costa expects a new leader by next month for the major opposition party, and plans to take advantage of that to complete consultations with the new leader. He told press that "I expect that next month we will have a new opposition leader to know if the agreement is Montijo, if it is Alcochete, or what the agreement is. For my part, I know 20 good reasons for each of the locations and I also know all the reasons why none of these locations is good, so it's up to me to decide.”

Work began, and then stopped on conversion of Montijo, a former air force base, with environmental issues as well as commercial concerns involved. The high-speed rail proposal, including possible connection to Spain's network, has also been held up, largely by issues over what areas will be served and which bypassed.

Costa told his audience that after discussion with the new opposition leader "we can also settle once and for all on the route of the railway line." And then he asked people in the audience not to laugh.

Image: Proposed Lisbon airport at Montijo

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