Friday, December 19, 2008

The controversial AVE

The fight to have the proposed AVE line through Orihuela pass underground rather than over land continues with Monica Lorente, Orihuela’s Mayor announcing that neither she nor anyone from her council team would attend a meeting with Public Works Ministry officials, held on December 9.

At this meeting she was due to sign paperwork giving permission for expropriation work to commence.  The law requires the green light from the council, via her signature, as part of the process. Her absence therefore, acts as an effective delaying tactic while she fights on to win her cause.

A demonstration, planned for December 21, is seen as the first measure in her campaign to demand that the AVE be constructed underground as it passes Orihuela. The mayor and her party have made it clear that they are not against the AVE passing through Orihuela in principle, but they are concerned about how it is proposed to do so.

Of course the issue is really about cost. The cost of directing the line overland is a lot lower than underground which is why the government favour that route. As far as the local council are concerned though the environmental impact of an underground tunnel is far less than a line running through the city.

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