June 16, 2024

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Protest against Alpine railway project turns violent – DW – 06/18/2023

Protest against Alpine railway project turns violent – DW – 06/18/2023

Police and demonstrators clashed on Saturday at a large demonstration in southeastern France against the construction of a tunnel across the border Alps For high-speed train service linking France and Italy.

Dozens of police officers were injured in incidents of projectiles being thrown by demonstrators, he said Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin. In a tweet, Darmanin also thanked the “2,000 police and gendarmerie mobilized to maintain law and order.”

Protest organizers also reported injuries among protesters, with police firing tear gas after projectiles were thrown. On one occasion, protesters also blocked a main road.

The police estimated the number of demonstrators at 3,000, although the organizers claimed that 4,000 people attended the demonstration.

The unauthorized demonstration took place near the village of Saint-Rémy-de-Maurienne in the department of Savoie.

Officials said that more than 400 dangerous items had been seized, and that 96 people known by the security services had been returned to Italy at the border,

Protesters say the project could cause immeasurable environmental damage to the Alpine landscapePhoto: Thierry Gilot/MAXPPP/dpa/Image Alliance

What is the planned project?

The high-speed rail project supported by European UnionLyon, the third largest city in France, is set to connect Turin in northern Italy.

The train line is set to include a 57.5-kilometre (36-mile) tunnel through the Alps.

Supporters of the project, which is estimated to cost €26 billion (more than $28 billion), say it will significantly reduce freight traffic on the roads.

However, its critics maintain that it could cause devastating ecological damage to the Alpine environment, as the springs had already begun to dry up during construction work.

tj/wd (Reuters, AFP)

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