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Puente demands "reciprocity" from France for "unhindered" access to the railway market

BRUSSELS, April 3 (EUROPA PRESS) -.

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Puente demands "reciprocity" from France for "unhindered" access to the railway market

BRUSSELS, April 3 (EUROPA PRESS) -

The Minister of Transport, Óscar Puente, has demanded this Wednesday "reciprocity" from the French Government for "unhindered" access to the French railway market for Spanish companies, a message that he will convey on Thursday to his French counterpart in a bilateral meeting in Brussels in which will also ask for "responsibility" in the face of business models like Ouigo's that in the long term may be "unsustainable."

In statements to the press in Brussels upon his arrival at an informal meeting of EU Transport Ministers, Puente reported that he will take advantage of this meeting to hold a bilateral meeting on Thursday with the French Transport Minister, Patrice Vergriete, to address issues that affect rail transit and cross-border infrastructure between the two countries.

The Spanish minister wanted the meeting to also be attended by the European Commission - which in the last year has asked Paris for explanations several times for the delay in the high-speed connection of the Atlantic Corridor - but in the end there will be no community representation, he specified. Bridge, because "France has not agreed."

"We have to approach things frankly and responsibly," Puente reasoned, confirming that among the points he wants to address in the meeting with his French colleague is the situation of Ouigo, a subsidiary of the French public railway company, the SNCF, whom the minister has criticized for its low price policy and its impact on Renfe.

In this context, Puente will ask for "reciprocity" because at the same time that the entry of a French company into the Spanish market is taking place, Spain "has the right to enter" the French market and to "do so without obstacles, with facilities."

It will also demand "responsibilities from the point of view of the approach to the business model", explained the minister, and then defended that "it cannot be an unsustainable business model in the long term", because, he has warned, if it is not sustainable " the money will come out of taxes or it will come out of the users' pockets."