The general budget project of the State for 2017 reduces the weight of Asturias in the accounts of the public sector. By comparing the investment estimate for this year with that of last year, the region will lose about one of every three Euros of the central government spending for 31.33 percent fall from the 307.66 million budgeted for last year and 211.25 included in the accounts project for 2017 that the Minister of Finance, Cristóbal Montoro, submitted yesterday in the Congress of Deputies. The territorial state spending decreases in almost all the autonomous communities, with the sole exception of the Canaries, and the Principality is the fifth with the most accentuated drop, only behind Andalusia (36.46 percent less), Comunidad Valenciana (32,98), Galicia (32,20) and Castilla y León (31,67).
The weight of Asturias in the total of the budget goes from 2.8 percent of 2016 to 2.5 in 2017, assigning to the Principality 25 for each thousand Euros of the spending that is considered "able to territorialise", 8,597 out of 12,867 million which will be allocated to investments. In the decreasing part corresponding to the Principality, the investments of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport in Infrastructures fall considerably compared to the budgeted in 2016, although sources of the department asserted that the figures increase to 20.7 percent taking as a point of comparison the part of the accounts actually executed last year, and not what had been planned.
Whatever the case may be, the high-speed train takes most of it. Following the promise of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to yield to the pressures of Foro and change its plans to directly develop the Diversion with an international width, the high-speed line that connects Asturias with the Plateau has an investment of 68.7 million euros exclusively for the Diversion of Pajares in its Asturian section, in addition to confirming the installation of international or " standard width tracks". The 115-budgeted Euros of last year are significantly reduced, but the 33 million Euros actually executed in 2016 are increased.
The accounts include another 60.2 for the section of León, totaling almost 128.9 million Euros in the complete journey between Asturias and León. There are also certain suspicions of delays, with spending estimate up to 2020. Taking into account the Asturian segment, 10.3 million Euros for 2018; another 14.8 in 2019, and by 2008, 14 more. In the León section, the amounts are 16.1 million Euros for the next fiscal year; 13.1 for the following year and 14 more for 2020. The improvement of the platform of the old Pajares slope, which will be necessary for the passage of the freight trains if finally the tunnel under the Mountain Range opens with an international width, has only contemplated a line item of one million Euros, whereas the commuter trains have half a million specifically for the improvement of the line called "Lena-ciudades asturianas" - which increases up to three million Euros in the estimate for 2018, nine million Euros in 2019 and ten in 2020 - and other line items supposedly dedicated to the short railroad network that, all together, barely exceed seven million Euros for the commuter trains of Renfe and include 946,000 Euros for the entire metric width network of the old Feve.
In the whole of the northern railroad passage, in which the Government includes the Asturian railroad connection, but also the one that leads to Cantabria and the Basque Country, the investment announced yesterday by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport counts 482 million Euros, 3,269 million Euros if we count everything planned up till 2020, which is a great damage compared to the spending in the huge Mediterranean Passage which, from Algeciras to the French border, mobilizes 715 million Euros this year and not too much more, 3,123 million Euros, until 2020.
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