Finnish minister: Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel possible with private funding

The proposed undersea tunnel would connect the Estonian and Finnish capitals of Tallinn and Helsinki under the Gulf of Finland. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner said that the construction of the Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel is entirely possible with private funding so long as it addresses the Finnish transport system as a whole.

"We are open to and have a positive attitude towards private funding," Berner told Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat. "It is important to us that Finnish cargo and passenger carriage is considered nationally — that the system is comprehensive."

Berner said that it is understandable in itself that more funding is needed for the construction of the tunnel than state budgets or the EU could offer; according to initial estimates, the tunnel would cost approximately €9-13 billion to construct.

The Finnish minister also emphasized that it is important to move forward with the project, as it is important for improving Finland's logistical position.

"If we had a railway connection with Europe across the Baltic Sea, Finland would no longer be an island or an independent place," Berner highlighted. "This is important both for competition as well as cargo and passenger traffic."

Helsingin Sanomat on Thursday wrote that, in addition to an official investigation regarding the proposed Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel, Peter Vesterbacka, creator of the video game Angry Birds, is gathering international funding for the construction of the tunnel. According to this plan, the tunnel would go through Espoo to Helsinki Vantaa Airport and would be funded mainly by the Chinese.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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