SPAIN-AFRICA LINK DECISION NEAR

Swiss engineers are finalising a feasibility study for an undersea tunnel to connect Spain and Morocco, according to a spokesman for the government agency that is coordinating the project. If the project goes ahead, trains carrying both passengers and goods would start using the tunnel in 2025. The tunnel would be 40km long and pass 300m under the Mediterranean Sea. The undersea link would unite North Africa and Europe for the first time since the continents separated more than 200 million years ago. However, the spokesman said building the tunnel presents difficulties that may not be possible to overcome. The Spanish and Moroccan governments see the tunnel as part of a new Mediterranean transport hub for passengers and goods, but some Spaniards are alarmed by the prospect of a physical connection between their country and the poorest continent in the world. Others are sceptical about this ambitious scheme ever being completed. Spain and Morocco have discussed bridge and tunnel plans for more than 20 years. However, this time the project has support from the European Union and the possibility of funding from the World Bank. If the feasibility study is positive, work on the tunnel could start next year.

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