Bulgaria to Use State Budget Resources to Compensate EU Funds FreezeBulgaria in EU | November 18, 2013, Monday // 19:05| views
Bulgaria's Environment Minister, Iskra Mihaylova, photo by BGNES
Bulgaria will use state money to cover payments for projects funded under the "Environment" operational program during the temporary freeze imposed by the European Commission.
In an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) on Monday, Environment Minister Iskra Mihaylova explained that some BGN 200 M from the state budget would be used to compensate for the temporary freeze on payments.
She emphasized that the EU funding freeze under the "Environment" operational program did not mean that the projects would be stopped or that payments would be halted.
Mihaylova made clear that the state budget resources would be used until the EC lifted the freeze.
She informed that it would happen after Bulgaria imposed financial corrections under the contracts characterized by violations of public procurement rules.
The Environment Minister specified that the measure would not only affect municipalities, but also a unit governed by the Environment Ministry, which had been tasked with implementing a biodiversity project worth BGN 26 M, which would be imposed financial corrections to the tune of BGN 5M.
She underscored that the EC was expected to unblock payments after Bulgaria remedied the flaws.
Justice Minister Zinaida Zlatanova, as cited by mediapool.bg, noted that the procedure usually lasted 6 months, adding that Bulgaria was hoping that it would be wrapped up faster.
Mihaylova admitted that the measure would be a burden on the state budget but stressed that it was affordable.
Finance Minister Petar Chobanov also vowed to provide money from the state budget for the period of the EU funds freeze.
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