President Plevneliev: Bulgaria Can Complete 7 Highway Projects by 2020
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev has said that a target of seven completed highway projects by 2020 is achievable for the country.
Speaking Monday at the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Trakiya Highway connecting the capital Sofia and the Black Sea city of Burgas, Plevneliev noted that Bulgaria's priorities for the 2014-2020 programming period would focus mainly on Northern Bulgaria.
"The Hemus Highway, which will boost the potential of northern Bulgaria, is no less meaningful than the Trakiya Highway. The Vidin-Botevgrad high speed road will bring the country's poorest region out of its isolation," he stated.
"Statistics shows that Bulgaria built 9 kilometers of highways in the first 45 years since the conception of the highway project, accelerating to 60 kilometers a year," Bulgaria's head of state declared, as cited by the BGNES news agency.
"We will definitely built the Struma Highway and finish the Hemus Highway - this will be a benchmark of progress – accelerating from 9 to 60 km a year and allowing people to travel at 140 km per hour," Plevneliev suggested.
"Highways create jobs and prospects," he said, adding that the Black Sea coast had been a two-day drive away some years back, as he and his father had found out.
He reminded that the Trakia Highway had been built with 80% EU funding, stressing that "Europe is not a colonizer, Europe gives us freedom."
After the official speeches, Plevneliev and Regional Development Minister Desislava Terzieva cut the ribbon on the Trakia Highway.
As of 2 pm on July 15, reaching the Black Sea coast from Sofia (through Southern Bulgaria) will take less than four hours.
The Trakia Highway was completed 40 years after its sod-turning ceremony.
Despite the constant reminders of former Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov of the importance highway construction, the former center-right GERB government (2009-2013) built a total of 82 kilometers of the Trakiya Highway in three years and a half, nearly as much as its predecessors.
Borisov cut the ribbon on the following Trakia Highway sections: Stara Zagora – Nova Zagora ( 31.8 km), Nova Zagora- Yambol (35.7 km) and the Yambol - "Zimnitsa" road junction (14.8 km).
The predecessors of the GERB government, the three-way coalition government (2005-2009), inaugurated the following Trakia Highway sections: Orizovo- Stara Zagora (38.7 km) and Karnobat- Burgas (35.2 km).
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