Italian government defuses multibillion-euro TAV project row

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Giuseppe Conte, the Italian Prime Minister, halted the launch of tenders for a high-speed rail link to France, defusing a dispute within the ruling coalition over the project that had threatened to bring down the government.

The multibillion-euro TAV project (Treno Alta Velocita) is backed by Matteo Salvini’s League party but strongly opposed by its coalition partner, 5-Star Movement, which argues that Italy’s share of the funding would be better spent upgrading existing roads and bridges.

With a Monday deadline looming for contract bids to go out, League leader Matteo Salvini warned he was prepared to “go to the end” to prevent the project from being blocked.

Five-Star leader Luigi Di Maio rebuked him for the threat to bring down the government, arguing that the League agreed in their joint contract to renegotiate the terms of the rail line.

Via Reuters and ANSA

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