The record-breaking €2bn (£1.83bn) loan for the Naples-Bari high-speed rail project was agreed as part of a €12.6bn package of financing for transport, clean energy, urban development and Covid-19 resilience projects across Europe and around the world.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) board gave the green light for the €2bn loan to support the construction of the new link, which will cut 1 hour and forty minutes from the journey times between Naples and Bari. More than 2,000 jobs will be created during construction.
The loan will be used transform travel in southern Italy. The new line, which is part of the Italian government’s ‘Unlock Italy’ plan, is expected to increase the competitiveness of rail transport, reduce carbon emissions and support social and economic development in southern Italy. It is part of the Scandinavia-Mediterranean Trans-European Network (TEN).