Italy and France may indefinitely postpone the Mont Blanc tunnel's four-month-closure for renovation work scheduled from early September, foreign minister Antonio Tajani said on Thursday.
"We are in close contact with the French authorities, with whom we are assessing whether to keep the Mont Blanc tunnel open for as long as necessary, to ensure vehicle traffic," Tajani told MPs at question time.
Tajani will "soon" travel to Paris for talks on a possible second Mont Blanc tunnel, he said.
"The need to bolster interconnections with France can no longer be put off and is a priority for the government," Tajani underlined.
An extension of the Frejus tunnel connecting France at Italy under the Alps "will be operational in the first half of 2024," Tajani said.
The Mont Blanc tunnel's maintenance work was postponed after a massive rockslide last week led to the Frejus tunnel's closure to rail traffic and heavy goods vehicles, threatening transport chaos.