An agreement to finance a three-year plan to upgrade the Italian road network has been signed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Italian Economics & Finance Ministry (MEF).

The loan amounts to €133 million, the first tranche of finance which will ultimately total €300 million.

Specifically, investments covering a total of 5,800km will be made on some 170 roads and motorways managed by Anas – the government-owned company in charge of construction and maintenance of Italian motorways and state highways – in all Italian regions. Nearly 40% of the investments will be in southern Italy and the Italian islands.

The planned operations concern the upgrading of safety barriers, restructuring of tunnels and construction of noise reduction systems.

The EIB said that the financing arrangements would be similar to the arrangement earlier this year between EIB, MEF and Italian train operator FS for works on the rail network, and would enable the Italian Republic to benefit from the favourable lending terms of the EIB.

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