Bulgaria Has Absorbed EU Funding for Transport Infrastructure of EUR 1.5 B

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | January 22, 2015, Thursday // 15:01
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Has Absorbed EU Funding for Transport Infrastructure of EUR 1.5 B Bulgaria's Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski, photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski has announced that the funding paid out under operational program Transport so far, at EUR 1.5 B, amounts to 71% of the total budget of the program.

Moskovski, as cited by money.bg, presented Thursday the achievements of the government in the spheres of railway, roads and water infrastructure.

He boasted that the authorities had managed to handle a critical situation and to prevent a loss of EU funding under operational program Transport 2007-2013.

He noted that a total of 22 projects were being implemented under the program, 7 of which had been completed and 15 were ongoing.

Moskovski expressed hope that all projects would be finalized by end-2015.

Galina Vasileva from the Transport Ministry informed that operational program Transport envisaged a total of BGN 900 N for road construction, BGN 528 M for the Sofia subway, BGN 500 M for railway infrastructure, and BGN 38 M for improving river/sea infrastructure and navigation.

She made clear that the Sofia subway was a champion in EU funds absorption, with 90% of the contracted funding paid out, while the amount of funding paid out in the sphere of road infrastructure stood at 68% and in railway infrastructure at less than 50%.

Moskovski emphasized that the amount of funding allocated to railways in Bulgaria was the smallest in the EU, taking into account the scope of the respective railway networks.

He reminded that the parliamentary transport committee had decided last week to start drafting a reform program for the state-owned Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) company that would be accompanied by an investment plan.

The Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) company has debts of nearly BGN 570 M, money.bg reminds.

In order to settle its debts, Bulgaria’s national railway carrier needs to take out a loan that needs to be authorized by the European Commission.

The EC will only authorize a loan if it is convinced of the existence of a commitment on a national level to support the railway sector.

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Tags: Transport Minister, Ivaylo Moskovski, operational program transport, EU funding, programming period, Bulgarian State Railways, BDZ
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