hidden europe 54

The Spinetta Report

by hidden europe


In the future it may not be so easy to take the slow train from Sospel to Tende. Or from Clermont-Ferrand to Nîmes. Jean-Cyril Spinetta's February 2018 report to President Macron is not good news for regional rail routes in France. It may be overdoing it to call Spinetta the French Beeching - but the fallout from the report is worth watching.

The French media are not quite so inclined to hyperbole as British newspapers, where scandal and catastrophe are writ large on many front pages. So when the normally restrained French daily Les Échos writes about “les propositions explosives,” then something is surely afoot. All the more so when the financial weekly La Tribune mentions “propositions décoiffantes.” The hair-raising news was the publication in mid-February of the Spinetta Report on the future of rail transport in France.

Monsieur Spinetta is a planes man who has worked for 40 years in aviation. He has served as CEO of Air Inter, Chairman and CEO of the Air France-KLM group, and Chair of the worldwide International Air Transport Association (IATA). It is not at all clear that Jean-Cyril Spinetta knows very much about trains, but what is evident from his report to the French President is that Spinetta is no great lover of the railway.

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