Italy awarded $1bn rail funding from the European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has made a $1bn loan to Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI), the state-owned company in charge of Italy’s railways.  

The loan will finance the upgrading of conventional railway lines, as opposed to its high-speed track. The programme will cover the whole of Italy’s network, but the lion’s share is expected to be spent in the south of the country. 

Dario Scannapieco, EIB Vice-President, said: "Having been the main funder of Italy’s high-speed rail, the EIB is now supporting local routes used daily by millions of Italians. 

"I wish to stress the importance of our direct contact with the Treasury. This arrangement will have a positive impact on the public finances and I hope it can be replicated in other sectors." 

The EIB has recently awarded the UK a $2.4bn loan to improve its energy infrastructure and it has given Poland a $628m loan for use on motorway construction. 

Caption: Dario Scannapieco, EIB vice-president (second left), with officials from Italy’s government and rail operator (source: EIB)

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