Bulgaria Faces Staggering EU ISPA Program Losses

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | June 14, 2010, Monday // 16:10
Bulgaria Faces Staggering EU ISPA Program Losses: Bulgaria Faces Staggering EU ISPA Program Losses Bulgaria's Transport Minister, Aleksander Tsvetkov, is surprised that his Socialist predecessor has been critical towards him regarding the country's loss of funds from the EU ISPA program. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Transport Minister, Aleksander Tsvetkov, alarms Monday about the delay in large-scale projects in Bulgaria that were to be realized through the EU ISPA Program and losses of millions of EUR.

The biggest delays involve the renovation of the railroad between the second largest city of Plovdiv and the town of Svilengrad on the Bulgarian-Turkish border and the “Lyulin” highway near the capital Sofia.

The European Commission has been lenient only about the “Danube 2” bridge between Bulgaria and Romania, according to Tsvetkov.

“Out joint efforts with Romania yielded results and the EC granted us an extension; we won't loose funds there. But for the other projects there isn't even a theoretical possibility to catch up,” the Minister said, adding this became clear as early as August last year, just after he assumed the post at the Transport Ministry.

Tsvetkov insists the delay stems from the policies of the previous, Socialist-led cabinet, pointing out he clearly cannot understand criticism on the part of his predecessor, Petar Mutafchiev, and how the latter “can even dare to raise the issue.”

The Minister, who was in the Danube city of Ruse Monday, informed that the Road Infrastructure Agency is preparing the project to renovate the road connecting Ruse with the town of Byala, and will present the documentation to the EU by the end of the year.

Tsvetkov visited Ruse to officially launch the firs stage of the project to build a river navigation information system, part of the common European navigation system to be completed by 2012.

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Tags: ISPA, EU funding, Aleksander Tsvetkov
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