File image of an AVE high-speed train in Spain. / sur

Junta president calls for rail link between Andalucía and Portugal

Juanma Moreno said this is the only region of Spain which borders the neighbouring country and is not connected by train

HÉCTOR BARBOTTA Seville

The president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, has called for a rail link between southern Spain and Portugal to be treated as a priority. Speaking at a meeting to hand over the presidency of the Alentejo-Algarve-Andalucía Euroregion to Antonio Ceia da Silva, the president of the Alentejo Coordination and Regional Development Committee, he said this type of connection is vital to connect the regions which are farthest in distance from Brussels.

These three regions have a combined population of over 10.5 million inhabitants and Moreno said they need “to be looked after better, protected more and cared for by the states and European institutions”.

Andalucía handed over the presidency of the Euroregion to Alentejo after two years. / efe / Julio muñoz

The regions are calling for a high-speed rail link between Seville, Huelva and Faro, something that Andalucía has been demanding for some time because it is the only part of Spain bordering Portugal which does not have a connection by train, something that Moreno described as unacceptable.

He said the governments of Spain and Portugal need to understand the importance of a rail link, not only for the three regions involved but for both countries and for Europe as a whole because it would create economic and social growth for the Euroregion and enhance its cohesion with the rest of the Iberian peninsula.

He also pointed out that Alentejo, Algarve and Andalucía have close ties, a long history and a future full of expectations and that the Euroregion can be a motor for transformation, development and competitiveness for them as a whole.