Bulgarian Govt Redirects EUR 20 M from HWYs to Railroads

Bulgaria in EU | July 10, 2013, Wednesday // 15:23|  views

Bulgaria's State Railways company has been experiencing chronic financial problems, with debts amounting to some BGN 800 M. File photo

Bulgaria's Socialist-endorsed Cabinet of Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski, has decided to redirect EUR 20 M from the highway construction funds to railroad projects for the 2014-2020 program period.

The information was reported by the government press office Wednesday.

The funds come from the EU operational program Transport slated for highways and will be directed to the National Company Railraod Infrastructure, NKZI, on grounds funds for it are depleted.

The move has been made to give the European Commission a green light to approve changes in the Transport program which have been delayed since the end of 2012. The delay has led to the use of State budget financing for the construction of the subway in the capital Sofia.

The delay was caused by the slowdown in securing funds for the railroad projects. The previously-ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, government slated EUR 30 M for them that was to come from the technical assistance part of the EU operational program. After its resignation, the caretaker Cabinet decided the amount was too high and asked for its decrease, while the current government is bringing it back to the previous level.

Three days ago, Transport Minister, Danail Papazov, stated that the railroad projects in the next program period required BGN 90 M. They will be used for the Vidin-Medkovets, Sofia-Septemvri, Sofia-Dragoman, and Sofia-Pernik-Radomir railroad sections.

It was reported meanwhile that NKZI expects BGN additional 16 M in revenues in 2013 and 2014 from infrastructure taxes for trains that are crossing the country's borders.

The fees for 90 international freight trains crossing the Bulgarian-Serbian, Turkish, Greek and Romanian border have been agreed on during the international conference of  FTI (Forum Train Europe), held in Slovenia between July 1 and July 5.

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Tags: GERB, Posts, World Bank, reform, BDZ, state railways, Vidin, Danube Bridge 2, Danail Papazov, Transport Minister, Plamen Oresharski, National Railroad Infrastructure Company, NKZI, EU operational program, highways, funds, Plamen Oresharski


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