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Brussels, 30 September 2009

Commission approves €9 million State aid to rail and intermodal freight transport in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna.

The European Commission today approved a State aid scheme amounting to €9 million notified by the Italian authorities in order to revitalise rail freight transport and the modal shift from road to rail in the region of Emilia-Romagna.

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Transport said "It is good to see schemes that aim at complementing the use of different modes of transport. This is in line with the Commission's thinking and my personal belief that we should maximise the use of all existing means of transport in order to make transport more efficient and sustainable".

The aid scheme of the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, which is planned for a period of three years, should foster rail transport in the context of the economic and financial crisis. It will also compensate the external costs avoided when goods are transported by rail instead of road. The Commission expects the measures to reduce pollution, congestion and to improve road safety in this central industrial Italian region.

The Commission stressed that the scheme complies with the EU railway guidelines, and therefore it is compatible with the common market.

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