The secretary general of the PCP said today that the future of TAP cannot depend on the European Union, during an initiative to defend the construction of a third crossing, by road and rail, on the Tagus, in Barreiro.

“For the PCP, it is unacceptable that the European Union should try to impose how and when the Portuguese State can intervene in TAP”, said Jerónimo de Sousa, who was accompanied by CDU candidates to the Municipal Chambers of Barreiro and Lisbon, Carlos Humberto and João Ferreira, in the next municipal elections.

“What the Government is doing at TAP, with thousands of workers made redundant, with the reduction of the fleet and operational capacity, is preparing TAP to transform it into a branch of a large multinational”, underlined the communist leader, adding that “it is not by handing over airports to the French da Vinci and TAP to the Germans from Lufthansa that national interests are defended”.

The communist leader also defended that the best solutions for the future of the country are not the ones that most please Vinci, whether in terms of the future airport or the construction of the third crossing of the Tagus.

“While some submit themselves to the interests of multinationals – it’s that Vinci also owns Lusoponte -, even if this harms the country’s development, the PCP does not dispense with the need to break with this submission, pointing to the construction of a new airport in the Alcochete Shooting Range and the construction of a new bridge over the Tagus [no corredor Barreiro-Chelas]”, said.

Jerónimo de Sousa also considered that this Barreiro-Chelas option would have very positive impacts in Lisbon and across the Setúbal Peninsula, as well as being important for the country, but stressed the importance of building a road-rail bridge and not just a bridge railway.

“If the option of a new rail-only bridge were to be consummated, this option would add little to those who have to choose, for example, 35 kilometers from here to Praça Marquês de Pombal or 50 kilometers if going through Vasco da Gama Bridge ”, he stressed.

For Jerónimo de Sousa, the “third Tagus Crossing in road-rail mode is more efficient due to its location and assumes a cost that will not be higher than a crossing only by rail, plus a hypothetical road tunnel, which some defend, geographically off-centre”.

The PCP leader also recalled that, according to bids from competitors for the construction of the new bridge presented in 2009, the cost of the road-rail crossing and accesses was below 1,500 million euros, an amount that Jerónimo de Sousa said is “recoverable to long term”.

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