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Confusing headline admittedly, but this article outlines the major reasons why there has been such a failure to take advantage of what on paper appears to be Europe’s most natural transport artery. The Danube is Europe’s largest river, and via a series of locks in southern Germany is also connected to the Rhine, which ferries vast volumes of cargo from Germany’s industrial hinterland to Rotterdam and Antwerp. But the development of the Danube as a clean and cheap trans-European cargo superhighway has been hindered by natural obstacles and the absence of a coordinated policy of the many governments that – ought to – have an interest in its development.

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