Hollande Embraces Greater Paris Plan

To the surprise of many, a change in governments has failed to derail former president Nicolas Sarkozy's ambitious "Greater Paris" plan for an expanded transit network linking the French capital to its suburbs.
March 9, 2013, 5am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"The French government has approved an ambitious plan to extend Paris into the suburbs after months of speculation it would abandon the project," reports Kim Willsher. "The prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, said a massive new transport network that would link major banlieues to the capital – a key element of the scheme for a 'Greater Paris' – had been given the go ahead despite a massive increase in costs."

"Central to the plans is a high-speed transit network known as the 'super metro' with 125 miles of new lines and 72 new stations, linking key suburbs and airports," explains Willsher. "Billions more will be spent on improving and extending existing metro lines."

"Ayrault said the scheme, originally launched by the former president Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, showed 'unprecedented ambition' and should be completed by 2030, five years later than planned. He admitted it would cost far above the original €20.5bn (£17.8bn) budget, but insisted the money would be found."

"It needs this investment, which will be of benefit, directly and indirectly, to the whole country," Ayrault said.

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Published on Thursday, March 7, 2013 in The Guardian
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