EU clears train line through French Natura site
The European Commission has given France the go-ahead to build key sections of a new high-speed train line from Strasbourg to Paris despite the fact that they will cut through a Natura 2000 protected habitat site. In an opinion released last month the Commission said the project was justified by "reasons of overriding public interest". But it warned that France must implement strict compensation measures limiting damage to the salt meadow habitat and regenerating other habitats nearby before EU funds could be granted for the project. See EU Natura 2000 pages.