The Mont-Blanc tunnel, which connects France and Italy through the Chamonix valley, was to be closed to traffic for more than three months, from September 4 to December 18, for maintenance work. But this closure coincided with that of the Fréjus tunnel, another important passage between the two countries, following a rock slide in Savoie last week. This situation endangered road traffic between France and Northern Italy, which largely depends on these two tunnels. Hundreds of light vehicles and trucks pass through these routes every day.
Faced with this risk of blockage, Italy asked France to postpone the closure of the Mont-Blanc tunnel. The Italian Deputy Prime Minister for Transport, Matteo Salvini, asked his French counterpart Clément Beaune to postpone the work to a later date. “Otherwise there will be chaos,” he warned.
France agreed this Thursday to postpone the closure planned for Monday, according to Italian ministerial sources. The work will “probably be postponed until September 2024”, specified these same sources.
Matteo Salvini also criticized Austria, which prohibits the entry of heavy goods vehicles at certain times and days. He denounced “Austrian arrogance” and the “enormous environmental, social and economic problems” it creates.