Europe's longest tunnel, linking France and Italy through the Alps was officially opened by the Prime Minister of the two countries in a ceremony on Saturday (12 May).
GV PULL OUT: mountain town of Modane
GV: French Prime Minister Raymond Barre and party arriving and being greeted by officials (3 shots)
GV: Tunnel interior
GV: Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti shaking hands with officials inside tunnel.
GV AND SV: Prime Minister shaking hands and walking towards entrance (2 shots)
GV: crowd watch as priest performs blessing as Prime Minister look on.
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Background: Europe's longest tunnel, linking France and Italy through the Alps was officially opened by the Prime Minister of the two countries in a ceremony on Saturday (12 May).
SYNOPSIS: The Frejus tunnel links the French Alpine mountain valley town of Modane with the Italian town of Bardonecchia. France's Prime Minister, M. Raymond Barre, met officials and engineers of the joint Italian-French project in the town before going on into the tunnel to take part in the official ceremony with his Italian counterpart. Workmen of both forces had already broken through and met each other in the tunnel a month ago.
Inside the tunnel, Italy's Prime Minister, Giulio Andreotti approached the meeting point at the national boundary. The two leaders shook hands, officially opening the 12,800 metre long (eight miles) tunnel....which had taken four and a half years to complete.
The cost of the project...350 million dollars. When it opens to traffic in 1980 the Frejus tunnel will shorten the route between Turin, Italy and Chambery in France, and bypass the existing route over the Alps. Both leaders witnessed a blessing ceremony for the tunnel, which is expected to carry a million vehicles in its first year.