Improving Deplorable State of Roads in Northwestern Bulgaria Is Essential - MP
Desislava Atanasova, MP from ruling center-right party GERB, has suggested that improving the deplorable condition of road infrastructure in Bulgaria’s northwestern region, the poorest region in the country and in the EU, is a vital necessity.
In a Tuesday interview for the Bulgarian National Television (BNT), Atanasova noted that the dire condition of roads in the area was a major obstruction to the development of tourism and agriculture.
She announced that the rehabilitation of the Sofia-Vidin road would start in 2015 as part of the efforts to improve access to the region.
Atanasova admitted that the government could not rely on tourism only to help the region emerge from the downturn, adding that the previous government had failed to present tenable plans for the reindustrialization of the country and it was impossible to reopen Vratsa-based fertilizer plant Chimko or Vidin-based car tyre plant Vidachim.
She also reminded that the public investment program of the previous socialist-led government envisaged no resources for the northwestern district of Montana.
Atanasova, as cited by investor.bg, recommended that the government strive to attract investors in northwestern Bulgaria through incentives such as simplified application process under EU programs.
“The next topic on the agenda is education,” she declared, adding that the level of training of staff was an important issue.
She informed that the authorities had signed a memorandum with the Varna Free University on a distance learning program for students in BA and MA programs and preparation for prospective students.
Atanasova insisted that the demographic crisis and the problems related to the labor market and the level of staff training were important for the whole of the country and not just the northwestern region.
Bulgaria’s government mulls special measures for the development of northwestern region, one of them envisaging additional points for applicants under the EU operational program Innovations and Competitiveness from the northwestern region.
Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski, who visited the region last week, announced that the government would make every effort to support the development of technology enterprises in the area.
Lukarski suggested that the government could introduce tax incentives for investors in the region.
He also recommended the establishment of free economic zones in northwestern Bulgaria.
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