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EU to Fund Completion of Bulgaria's Trakiya-Black Sea Highway

Date: 27.10.2009

The EU is going to provide funding for the Bulgaria’s Black Sea highway, which is going to be an extension of the southern Trakiya Highway. This was announced Monday in the northern city of Veliko Tarnovo by Bulgaria's Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov.

The Trakiya Highway connecting Sofia with the Black Sea city of Burgas must be ready in 2012, according to the GERB government. The Black Sea Highway is set to connect Burgas and Varna along the sea coast.

According to Borisov, the European Commission is going to provide the funding for the Black Sea Highway in 4 years. The Black Sea Highway will be seen as an extension of the Trakiya Highway, and will be a priority project because of serving to establish a better intercontinental connection between Europe and Asia.

Borisov made it clear that the state had no money to finance the Hemus Highway, which is the primary road project in Northern Bulgaria.

The Prime Minister said that in Northern Bulgaria the government would focus on improving the Sofia-Veliko Tarnovo Road, and the Ruse-Shumen Road (the final part of the Hemus Highway between Varna and Shumen has been in operation for several years now).

According to Borisov, the Sofia-Veliko Tarnovo part of the Hemus Highway may be given as a concession since the state has no way to finance the construction.

Borisov also explained that only certain parts of the southwest highway Struma would be constructed during the government’s mandate – including the ones between Dupnitsa and Blagoevgrad, and Sandanski and Petrich. In his words, the construction of the Struma Highway through the Kresna Gorge is going to cost about EUR 700 M which the state budget would not be able to afford.

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