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Old January 19th, 2007, 04:16 AM   #1
Redalinho
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MOROCCO / SPAIN | Tunnel and High Speed Rail



The governments of Spain and Morocco have taken a further step towards the building of a rail tunnel that will connect Europe and Africa, in what will be a historic technological feat. The Spanish Minister of Development Francisco Alvarez Cascos was quoted in Arabic News.com as stating that this tunnel will be “in the 21st century what the Suez Canal was in the 19th century and what the Panama Canal was in the 20th century.”

By the time such a tunnel is in place a continuous rail link between the north of Scotland and Africa would be possible.

The agreement signed by Cascos and Moroccan Minister of Equipment and Transport Karim Ghellab is for a programme of engineering tests and studies and it is believed that digging under the strait could begin in five years time. According to the Spanish Transport Minister 27 million euros will be invested in this preliminary stage of geological survey by each of the two countries over the next three years.

It is thought that the tunnel will be 24 miles long, of which 17 miles will lie under the narrow and turbulent waters of the strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. It will descend between 100 and 300 metres under the sea. The most suitable route has initially been established as that between Punta Paloma, 40 kilometres west of Gibraltar, and Punta Malabata, near the Moroccan city of Tangiers. A shorter route to the east that would be only about 12 miles has been dismissed, as it would require boring 900 metres below sea level. The final route and depth will be decided only after detailed geological studies.

The tunnel will be made up of two rail tunnels and one service tunnel in the middle connecting the two, similar to the Channel Tunnel running between Britain and France. The service tunnel will be the first to be built and work could begin in 2008. Spain has already bored an experimental tunnel 560 metres long. Core samples of the rock beneath the strait will be taken in order to develop a picture of its geology. A similar experiment on the Moroccan side was sunk to 300 metres.

A joint committee was set up at the beginning of December between the two nations, which approved the 2004-2006 action plan and the budget of 27 million euros. Estimates of the final cost of the tunnel vary between three and 10 billion euros. Morocco and Spain will seek financial assistance from the European Union for research and infrastructure.

The project to build a rail tunnel linking Europe and Africa was first discussed between Spain and Morocco in the 1980s and several meetings have taken place since, some under the auspices of the United Nations. The linking of the two continents would be a major achievement that would enable the development of communications, trade and cooperation to an unprecedented level. However, this is not a project intended to benefit humanity: it is a commercial enterprise. As such, all manner of new conflicts between the nations involved and those who will want to be involved will emerge, particularly over control of the Arab Magreb, a union of Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania and Algeria, by the European countries.

Tensions between Spain and Morocco have a long history, particularly over the sovereignty of Western Sahara, a Spanish former colony, which Morocco annexed in 1975. Morocco accuses Spain of supporting the Polisario Front independence movement and it is blocking the UN from approving Morocco’s claim to sovereignty. Morocco insists on the principle of territorial integrity, while Spain supports a referendum on self-determination.

These tensions have intensified in the last few years, with continuing disputes about immigration, farming and the sovereignty of the two Spanish enclaves on African soil, Ceuta and Melilla, as well as some small islands. Just a year and a half ago there was an armed exchange when Spanish marines forcibly evicted some Moroccan soldiers from the island of Perejil, which both countries claim. Diplomatic relations came to a halt when Spain withdrew its ambassador and then Morocco withdrew its ambassador.

In addition Spain wants to prospect for oil in the waters between Morocco’s Atlantic coast and the Spanish Canary Islands. Spain also blames Morocco for the collapse of the European Union Agreement that allowed Spain to fish in Morocco’s rich waters.

The two countries have made an effort to improve their relations. Some weeks ago a Spain-Morocco summit took place in Marraquech, which was attended by a delegation from Spain headed by Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar. The summit reached what was described as “the biggest economic cooperation agreement in Spain’s history”. Spain provided $476 million, $279 million of which will be used to finance projects by Spanish companies. Spain is the second biggest market for Morocco’s exports after France and its second biggest investor.

Two other agreements were signed concerning employment and the reestablishment of cultural relations. This was followed this month by an agreement on joint patrols against illegal immigrants and for Spain’s right to deport hundreds of unaccompanied minors held in detention centres back to Morocco, as well as cooperation against terrorism.

Already rightist forces are beginning to air their opposition to the tunnel, spreading fears of Spain being overtaken by “illegal immigrants”, citing Britain’s problems over the Channel Tunnel. It is believed that half a million people attempt to cross the strait every year into Spain as a route to the rest of Europe. Many of them drown when the small badly constructed boats capsize.

Additionally, racist objections are voiced about the danger of Spain being invaded by terrorists, as the tunnel will connect directly with a Muslim country.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 07:44 AM   #2
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Not gonna happen. Look at how much the eurotunnel was wrought with problems, and that is that France and the UK are well connected economically. Imagine how a tunnel between two HIGHLY unequal (economically speaking obviously) countries would fair? Plus, a lot of energy is already being put into preventing people from Morocco to land into Spain, it would be like Sangatte but orders of magintitude worse. If you are trying to keep people out, the last thing you want is to make it easier for people to come in!
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Old January 19th, 2007, 07:46 AM   #3
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As a side note, where is the source? Although I can guess it obviously comes from a less-than-unbiased source in Morocco, seeing as how half the article is spent ranting on those evil racist Spanish colonialists.

Quite surprising actions for a moderator entrusted in the welfare of this forum.



As another side note, in addition to source, when was this article written?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redalinho
The two countries have made an effort to improve their relations. Some weeks ago a Spain-Morocco summit took place in Marraquech, which was attended by a delegation from Spain headed by Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar.
Aznar has been out of power for THREE YEARS.

So essentially we are reading an article from minimally 2004 or worse, 2003, telling us about a tunnel that is allegedly going to be built.

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Old January 19th, 2007, 02:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQui View Post
As a side note, where is the source? Although I can guess it obviously comes from a less-than-unbiased source in Morocco, seeing as how half the article is spent ranting on those evil racist Spanish colonialists.

Quite surprising actions for a moderator entrusted in the welfare of this forum.



As another side note, in addition to source, when was this article written?


Aznar has been out of power for THREE YEARS.

So essentially we are reading an article from minimally 2004 or worse, 2003, telling us about a tunnel that is allegedly going to be built.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/ja...tunn-j05.shtml

This is the source and they are not Moroccan nore Spanish

They are just fair

And next time try to respect the other forumers instead of insulting them

thank's
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Old January 19th, 2007, 02:55 PM   #5
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They're socialist. I'd hardly call that unbiased (although the pretension of being unbiased is an illusion, anyway). Moreover, read the date above the article:

Quote:
5 January 2004
That's over 3 years old. Why bring up such an old article as 'hot news'?
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Old January 19th, 2007, 04:23 PM   #6
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A 3 years old article?
xDDDDDDDDDDDDD
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Old January 19th, 2007, 06:12 PM   #7
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Hmm, what about a tunnel/bridge between the European part of Spain and Ceuta instead of Morocco?
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Old January 19th, 2007, 07:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verso View Post
Hmm, what about a tunnel/bridge between the European part of Spain and Ceuta instead of Morocco?
Too long, too deep.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 07:24 PM   #9
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BREAKING NEWS. Prime Minister Churchill and President de Gaulle have discussed the possibility of building a tunnel to connect Britain to the European mainland.

I highly doubt that a tunnel will be built between Morocco and Spain though. I take it from the fact that this bit of news is already 3 years old that not much headway has been made since.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 07:39 PM   #10
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A saw a documentary at the Discovery Channel about a year ago, discussing the possibility of a huge bridge between the two continents:



Spans would reach 5000 meters (3+ miles); there would be three pylons and two of those huge spans in the middle.

A feasibility study was completed in 1996 - estimated cost: $ 15 BILLION.

That makes the feasibility and realisation of such a huge project very unlikely. At least for the near future (30 years).
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Old January 19th, 2007, 08:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kampflamm View Post
BREAKING NEWS. Prime Minister Churchill and President de Gaulle have discussed the possibility of building a tunnel to connect Britain to the European mainland.

I highly doubt that a tunnel will be built between Morocco and Spain though. I take it from the fact that this bit of news is already 3 years old that not much headway has been made since.
actually that´s not right, there is another thread in english and the spanish one where you can find more about the project..

or simply search the net..

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=350740

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=171588
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Old January 19th, 2007, 08:16 PM   #12
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Very ambitious project...

But I wpuld say this is not going to take off before the bridge between Bali and Java of Indonesia is done, or the Kra canal get aprroved...
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Old January 19th, 2007, 11:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redalinho View Post
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/ja...tunn-j05.shtml

This is the source and they are not Moroccan nore Spanish

They are just fair

And next time try to respect the other forumers instead of insulting them

thank's
Me questioning your motives and highlighting the absurdity of the article is an insult?



And btw, how the HELL is this article not biased when the following gems are being brought up about a railway tunnel?

\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/


Quote:
Originally Posted by Redalinho View Post
[These tensions have intensified in the last few years, with continuing disputes about immigration, farming and the sovereignty of the two Spanish enclaves on African soil, Ceuta and Melilla, as well as some small islands. Just a year and a half ago there was an armed exchange when Spanish marines forcibly evicted some Moroccan soldiers from the island of Perejil, which both countries claim. Diplomatic relations came to a halt when Spain withdrew its ambassador and then Morocco withdrew its ambassador.

In addition Spain wants to prospect for oil in the waters between Morocco’s Atlantic coast and the Spanish Canary Islands. Spain also blames Morocco for the collapse of the European Union Agreement that allowed Spain to fish in Morocco’s rich waters.

The two countries have made an effort to improve their relations. Some weeks ago a Spain-Morocco summit took place in Marraquech, which was attended by a delegation from Spain headed by Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar. The summit reached what was described as “the biggest economic cooperation agreement in Spain’s history”. Spain provided $476 million, $279 million of which will be used to finance projects by Spanish companies. Spain is the second biggest market for Morocco’s exports after France and its second biggest investor.

Two other agreements were signed concerning employment and the reestablishment of cultural relations. This was followed this month by an agreement on joint patrols against illegal immigrants and for Spain’s right to deport hundreds of unaccompanied minors held in detention centres back to Morocco, as well as cooperation against terrorism.

Already rightist forces are beginning to air their opposition to the tunnel, spreading fears of Spain being overtaken by “illegal immigrants”, citing Britain’s problems over the Channel Tunnel. It is believed that half a million people attempt to cross the strait every year into Spain as a route to the rest of Europe. Many of them drown when the small badly constructed boats capsize.

Additionally, racist objections are voiced about the danger of Spain being invaded by terrorists, as the tunnel will connect directly with a Muslim country.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 11:26 PM   #14
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IMO there are other projects more importants as a tunnel in the Pirineos between Madrid and Valencia-Zaragoza-Toulousse, due to the great quantity of traffic that exists in the coastal zones
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Old January 20th, 2007, 04:55 AM   #15
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this tunnel would be cool. let's build it.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 06:14 AM   #16
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It is a good idea, but I think this link will never be built...
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Old January 20th, 2007, 11:51 AM   #17
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the official site of the project..

http://www.secegsa.com/
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 05:37 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQui View Post
Additionally, racist objections are voiced about the danger of Spain being invaded by terrorists, as the tunnel will connect directly with a Muslim country./





191 Spaniards are murdered by Al Qaeda, but somehow the Spanish are the bad guys for wanting to avoid an encore performance.
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 11:24 PM   #19
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What's the ammount of traffic through the Strait of Gibraltar (by ferries) between Spain and Morocco anyway?
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 02:27 PM   #20
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Even if the tunnel will be built, there will be nothing to connect to.

African railways are not connected each other and anyway, they are are built with differend standard, not only by different gauges:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...auge_world.png

Morocco is linked by rail only to Algeria and Tunisia - if the border is still open, obviously...
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