Seventeen billion Euros is to be invested by Spain in a massive road and rail project set to be executed during the next two years in an effort to create new jobs and boost a crushed economy from Spain’s recent and on-going recession.
According to Spain’s prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, as much as 70% of the money will fund new passenger and freight rail projects, as well as a number of necessary improvements to the existing network, leaving 30% of the capital to be invested into highway construction and maintenance.
Zapatero is calling this THE most important collaboration between the private and public sector in Spanish history due to the fact that it will initially be financed via private banks and the state’s credit institutions.
The monies would be paid back after 2014 with the funds raised from a new tax on the users once the projects are up and running.
The Development Ministry have reported that the project has been planned in such a way so as not to interfere with the Spanish government’s promise to decrease its deficit from a massive 11.2% of GDP to just 3% by 2013 – A figure demanded by the EU.
Largely due to the fall of its construction sector coupled with the effects of a global financial crisis, Spain has seen unemployment figures as high as 18.8%, the highest in the European Union. This new project is a way for Spain to create new jobs and boost its economy without any adverse effect on any other crucial and political commitments.