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Presidential opening for LGV Rhin-Rhône

FRANCE: President Nicolas Sarkozy inaugurated the first 140 km section of LGV Rhin-Rhône between Villiers-les-Pots and Petit-Croix on September 8, cutting a ribbon at the new TGV station outside Besançon to mark the formal opening of the high speed line. He then travelled to Belfort-Montbéliard TGV, where a rolling stock display marked the 30th anniversary of the opening of France's first high speed line.

...Following three months of commissioning trials that have seen a specially-equipped test train cover over 60 000 km, commercial services are due to start on December 11, running at up to 320 km/h on France's first inter-regional high speed route. Extensions from Villiers-les-Pots to Genlis (15 km) and from Petit-Croix to Lutterbach (35 km) are planned to complete the 190 km eastern branch of LGV Rhin-Rhône between Dijon and Mulhouse, although funding for this second phase has yet to be agreed.

...Next spring SNCF and DB are planning to launch a daily Frankfurt - Lyon - Marseille service, while a daily service between Basel and the south of France is planned from December 2012. SNCF has ordered 30 Euro Duplex trainsets equipped to operate in Germany and Switzerland as well as into Spain...

Why was it inaugurated now, three months ahead of regular service? Did Sarko need a quick photo-op?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 01:08:47 PM EST
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Why was it inaugurated now, three months ahead of regular service? Did Sarko need a quick photo-op?



The silver lining in all this is that the whole circus has completely upstaged Sarkozy's UMP party summer convention in Marseille this week-end. The Sarkozistas were hoping to use this convention to attack the PS on the corruption front: the brother of local PS honcho Jean-Noël Guérini, Alexandre Guérini is indicted for corruption.

The convention started badly for Sarkozy anyway: first he called former prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin "irresponsible" for a comment opposing the end of tax breaks on theme parks. Raffarin replied publicly and other UMP scrambled to calm things down - so much for unity behind the president... In the end, Sarkozy backed off (as he often does). Not to mention the recently published  book "Sarko m'a tuer" (misspelling intentional) about cash handouts from L'Oréal heiress Lilianne Bettencourt to Sarko himself just before his election in 2007.

Jerome a Paris:

The big news this week-end are, in fact, about right-wing presidents:
  • Chirac once again avoiding court (he's been playing games for 20 years to avoid the 15 or so trials he should have been brought to) by claiming he's now senile (and "psychologically vulnerable")
  • the book about Sarkozy ("Sarkozy m'a tuer") which tells the story of 27 people whose carriers, lifes or worse have been broken because they were in Sarkozy's way, and which shows how he is a control freak and a vindictive son of a bitch (not so surprising in a man in his position, but in his case it seems to be particularly nasty)
by Bernard on Sat Sep 10th, 2011 at 07:17:39 AM EST
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