VALENCIA plans to increase maritime links between Denia (Alicante) and the Balearics, following the announcement that it will host the America's Cup in the year 2007. The Valencian Generalitat (government) has decided to speed up its port development plan in order to improve facilities for the major sailing event.
The plan, requiring an overall investment of 653 million euros, will create 10'000 new moorings and 10 sailing schools. Private enterprise will finance 75 percent of the project. José Ramón García Antón, regional minister for Infrastructure and Transport, justified the necessity to accelerate the Port Development Plan in the light of the demand that holding 2007 America's Cup will bring to Valencia. “All ports and localities along the coast of Valencia will benefit” said the minister. The number of individual reconstruction or refurbishment projects to be carried out will total 212, the majority of them reorganisation and improvement of already-existing installations. They will include the creation of three new ports in Santa Pola and Campello, in the province of Alicante, and Peñiscola in the province of Castellón.
Furthermore, regional government in Valencia came to an agreement with the central government Ministry of Public Works for the investment of 181.4 million euros in Valencia's metro (underground) system, with special emphasis on connecting the existing network with the Port of Valencia and the local airport at Manises. Alejandro Font de Mora, the government spokesman, described this infrastructure development as being of “key importance” for the hosting of the America's Cup. García Antón specified that the Ports Plan will respect the need to protect the natural environment of the coastline, and takes into account all sectors that may be affected: the fishing industry, tourism, sailing and other activities.


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