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Central Government to invest 796 million Euros in Murcia

The region of Murcia is set to receive 796 million Euros from the central government in 2009, with the main priority being to strengthen the infrastructure in the region. Since 2004, Murcia has seen ever increasing levels of investment by the Spanish Government and the budget for the area has increased 64% in the last 5 years.

Despite some criticism over the facts that this years investment falls 20 million short of that made available for 2008, the fact remains that the investment per head of population for Murcia remains well above the national average.

So how exactly will the money be spent? The biggest slice of the budget cake goes to improvements in the infrastructure of the hydraulic network. Murcia must find a way to improve water management due to the drought conditions and constant water shortage and 389 million Euros will go towards improvement project in this area. Amongst the larger projects, the desalination plant proposed for Águilas will get 50 million Euros and further 54 million Euros will go for improvements to the plant at Valdentisco in order to increase the capacity and distribution network.

A further 32.7 million Euros has been set aside in addition to modernise the irrigation systems in the Molina de Segura, Ojos and Librillas areas.

Also in line for a large chunk of investment is transport with around 300 million earmarked for improving road and rail lines and communications. Around 154 million Euros will be spend on the rail network, a 10% increase over this year and of that, just under 90 million Euros will be used to bring the high speed rail line (AVE) to Murcia from Pulpi (Almeria) and a further 22.3 million Euros to extend the AVE line from Madrid to Levante. The central government has allocated twice the national average to Murcia for this purpose.

Roads in the region will also benefit from the further investment, with a 21% increase in spending. 93 million Euros has been allocated for improvements, 32.5 million of this will be use for improving the already impressive motorway network in the province.

Other key areas of spend will be: The justice system: just under 70 million Euros for improvements to the courtrooms in Murcia and Mula, plus there are plans for the construction of a new prison.

Road safely programme: a total of 28 million Euros will be spent improving road safety over Murcia’s 3000 kilometres of roads with the main focus being 37 stretches identified as accident black-spots.

In total state investment was increased in ten of the autonomous communities with the highest increase being awarded to Navarra. (31.3%)

In the remainder, the investment was less than for the previous year, however the region of Murcia was amongst those whose budget allocation was reduced the least, with a cut of just over 4.7%. The Canaries saw the biggest cut in state spending, down 13.2% on 2007.

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