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Latvian transport minister defends idea of Rail Baltica track line connecting airport

BC, Riga, 31.03.2015.Print version
The Railroad Law requires amendments in order to adopt the European Union's directives, which would facilitate non-discriminatory services in the industry, however, the most significant changes to the law do not have to be implemented now, Transport Minister Anrijs Matiss (Unity) said during today's meeting of the Latvian Transit Business Association, reports LETA.

The association's members agreed with Matiss, indicating that the directives ought to be adopted by the summer of 2015, otherwise, sanctions might follow, whereas extensive changes to the law could impede further amendments.


State Railroad Administration Director Juris Iesalnieks said that in fact, there is no reason to adopt a new Railroad Law. The directive stipulates that the state will have to make sure that industry players are offered equal services, however, it will not regulate the fares. The Transport Ministry's amendments to the Railroad Law stipulate non-discriminatory services in the industry. The Latvian Transit Business Association concluded that the organization will focus only on the necessary amendments to the law.


During the meeting, Matiss defended the Rail Baltica concept, stressing that the EUR 400 million track line connecting the Riga Airport would be a useful project, taking into account that foreign investments will thus freely enter Latvia. Matiss said that Rail Baltica will enable investments worth billions of euros to enter Latvia – a prospect which cannot be turned down.


The project can be implemented only with the European Union co-funding up to 85% of the project's costs. Several members of the Latvian Transit Business Association added though that the EUR 400 funding could be spent in a more useful way, as downtown Riga can be reached by cab in about ten minutes, making the idea to connect a track line with the airport unnecessary.

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