Bulgaria Govt and Sofia Municipality Save ISPA Project for EUR 58,5 M

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | May 19, 2008, Monday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 1
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Bulgaria Govt and Sofia Municipality Save EUR 58,5 M ISPA Project: Bulgaria Govt and Sofia Municipality Save ISPA Project for EUR 58,5 M Bulgaria's Environment Minister Chakurov (left), Deputy PM Plugchieva (middle), and Sofia Mayor Borisov agreed Monday to collaborate in order to meet a deadline set by the EC for a ISPA-funded project. Photo by Kameliya Atanassova (Sofia Photo Agency)

Representatives of the Bulgarian cabinet and of Sofia Municipality met Monday in order to save at the last minute an infrastructure project for Sofia's water supply system funded with EUR 58,5 M from the EU ISPA Program.

The Sofia Mayor Boyko Borisov and members of his administration met with Bulgaria's new Deputy Prime Minister Meglena Plugchieva, who is in charge of monitor the absorption of EU funds, and with the Environmental Minister Dzhevdet Chakurov and agreed on joint actions over the problematic water supply and sewerage system project.

Sofia Municipality has won the ISPA funding for the construction of water supply and sewerage collectors, and of water purification stations.

The project's execution, however, has been delayed for three years, and has become the matter of constant accusations between the Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev, and the Sofia Mayor Boyko Borisov.

The European Commission had set May 20 as the deadline for the removal of all procedural setbacks for the construction of the new Sofia water supply system infrastructure.

Thus, after the meeting on Monday, May 19, the Deputy PM Plugchieva expressed her conviction that the project had been saved and that she was going to notify the EU Commissioner on Regional Development Danuta Huebner that the Sofia Local Authorities were doing everything necessary for the absorption of the allocated ISPA program funds.

The main issues hindering the start of the project are the uncompleted appropriation of land for the construction of the installations, and the failure of the concessionaire Sofia Water to submit a five-year business plan to the State Agency for Water and Energy Regulation.

In Plugchieva's words, these issues would be dealt with by the end of May.

With respect to the other hot topic discussed at the meeting, the situation with Sofia's garbage dumping ground, the Deputy PM praised both the Sofia Mayor and the Environmental Minister for their work adding everything was going as planned.

The Sofia Mayor in turn praised Plugchieva for the upsurge in her work.
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mandalin - 20 May 2008 // 09:20:39


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