Bulgaria May Restore Payments under Frozen EU Programs by end-October
Iliyana Tsanova, caretaker Deputy Prime Minister in charge of EU funds, has suggested that Bulgaria may recover blocked payments under the EU operational programs Environment and Regional Development by end-October.
Tsanova told journalists Tuesday that the final audit reports would be sent to the European Commission by the end of the day.
She boasted that Bulgaria awaited good news as the management and control systems for the programs had been shown to be functioning.
“We expect a delegation of the European Commission to arrive in Bulgaria next week to conduct a review and an audit and issue assessments which will allow Bulgaria to recover frozen payments,” Tsanova stated.
Stressing the huge effort that made the progress possible, she explained that Bulgaria could expect to receive payments in end-October or early November at the latest in the case of positive results from the visit.
Tsanova said that payments under axis 1 of the Regional Development Program could be unblocked in the beginning of 2015 at the earliest as the case required more work.
She announced that the audits indicated that the management and control systems were functioning, meaning that the inspections could detect errors on time so as to prevent Bulgaria from spending EU funding on projects which did not comply with the rules.
Tsanova also elaborated on the EUR 500 M loan which Bulgaria was to receive from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
She was adamant that the money would not be used to boost Bulgaria’s co-financing of transport projects to 50%.
Tsanova went on to assure that operational program Competitiveness was subject to regular inspections and Bulgaria did not expect any negative developments in the sphere as the flaws were being taken care of on time.
She admitted that the problem with the construction of Lot 4 of the Struma motorway was still on the table, adding that the government was ready to take drastic steps unless the contractor speeded up work on the project.
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