European Commission approves public funding for Italy

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The European Commission on Monday decided to approve public funding to Italy to encourage a shift of freight transport from road to rail and to sea in that country.

In a press release, the commission said the two public support schemes in Italy will further EU environmental and transport objectives while maintaining competition in the single market.

The first scheme, with a budget of 255 million euros, aims to boost the shift of freight traffic from road to rail in Italy by granting subsidies to rail transport operators.

Supporting a mode of transport that is less polluting than road will have a positive impact on the environment. Meanwhile, by decreasing road congestion it will also be beneficial in terms of mobility.

The Commission’s assessment showed that the scheme is open to all railway companies operating on the freight market in Italy.

The second scheme — named “Marebonus” — has a budget of 138 million euros to encourage freight transport by sea rather than by road.

The scheme will grant aid to shippers for starting new maritime services or upgrading existing sea routes. It will also lead to less traffic on the roads and so reduce pollution and ease transport congestion.