Pyrenean road tunnel opening sparks anger

An 8.8km road tunnel linking south-west France with northern Spain via the Pyrenees was inaugurated on Friday by French and Spanish transport ministers at a ceremony attended by EU transport commissioner Loyola de Palacio. The Somport tunnel, costing €255m, is expected to carry around 1,400 vehicles a day during 2003, including 250 lorries. Its official opening was condemned by French and Spanish environmental groups, angry at the opening of a road tunnel while a nearby rail route between Pau, France and Canfranc, Spain remained closed. See press releases from Greenpeace and FNE.

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