António Costa conveyed this position to ISCTE, in Lisbon, after being asked if there is a possibility that the future high-speed rail link will be exclusively operated by Spanish trains.

“No one is more committed to reducing this risk and ensuring that high-speed trains are Portuguese than the Government”, replied the Prime Minister.

However, immediately afterwards, the leader of the executive noted that Portugal joined the European Union in 1986 and, as such, is subject to the rules related to the single market, competition and public procurement.

“Therefore, we have the political will, but we also have the obligation to comply with the limitations imposed by legality”, he stressed.

According to António Costa, in the European rules there is a clear separation between the natural monopoly, which is the infrastructure, and the transport service, which can be ensured in competition.

“In Portugal, we have lines where the service is not provided by CP, but by a private operator that won the tender from CP. This model of the infrastructure being open to the circulation of multiple trains is a given today in the European single market”, he said.