italy has lodged a complaint with the European Union that the French government has turned down its request to open the Mont Blanc tunnel to heavy trucks until after the forthcoming elections. This was done to capture environmental votes, contends Italy.
The 11.6-kilometre tunnel links the two countries. Three years ago, the tunnel was closed after a fire killed 37 people. It was, however, re-opened on March 9, 2002 to light vehicles. Heavy trucks were also to be allowed two weeks later. But France has postponed this till June 2002. Italian officials contend France has not given any technical or security reasons for its refusal, which seems to be for political purpose.
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