The 5-Star Movement, a coalition partner of Italy’s ruling party is fiercely opposed to the rail link.
On Friday, Italy’s junior minister for infrastructure Armando Siri told Corriere della Sera, an Italian news daily that if work on the high-speed rail link between France and Italy were to stop it would cost Rome more than $3.36 billion (3 billion euros).
Siri went on to add, “as things stand today (a stop to the work) won’t happen”.
His comments come in the wake of a dispute in Italy’s coalition over the future of the rail link escalated on Thursday and raised the risk of a government collapse.
Although the Alpine high speed rail line has the backing of the ruling League party, it faces fierce opposition from its coalition partner, the 5-Star Movement, which argues Italy’s share of the funding would be better spent upgrading existing roads and bridges.