Bulgaria Awaits EUR 1,25 B from EC for Dilapidated Roads

Bulgaria in EU | June 23, 2009, Tuesday // 08:25|  views

Construction work continues at the new Lyulin Highway, part of European Union's Transport Corridor Four, near Sofia. Bulgaria could finish building Lyulin motorway near Sofia in 20112 if it keeps up the current pace. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Bulgaria's Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev will probe on Tuesday the readiness of the National Road Infrastructure Agency to absorb European funding after Brussels decided to unfreeze a total of EUR 1,25 B for the improvement of the country's dilapidated roads.

Ivan Atanasov, head of the agency Supervisory Council, and Yanko Yankov, executive director, will present to Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev projects to be funded under the "Transport" and "Regional Development" operative programs.

A total of EUR 1 B has been unblocked under the "Transport" Operative Program, while another EUR 25 M will come under the "Regional Development" Operative Program. In order to get European funding, however, the compatibility assessments of the projects must be first approved by Brussels.

The funds were blocked last year following corruption charges against the former head of the state-owned infrastructure fund.

The controversy, which broke out following an investigation by the newspaper Kapital, led to the freezing of the EUR 723 M earmarked to improve Bulgaria's dilapidated roads. The company former head Veselin Georgiev was charged with awarding contracts worth tens of millions of BGN to companies run by two of his brothers.

The fund was consequently restructured into a National Road Infrastructure Agency.


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Tags: Veselin Georgiev


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