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Bulgaria Risks Possible Loss of Danube II Euro-funding

Date: 26.01.2010

If the Danube Bridge II construction is not completed by end 2010, Bulgaria risks the loss of EUR 200 M in European funding for the project

Bulgaria risks the loss of European funding for construction of the Danube Bridge II crossing, if the EU refuses to extend the project deadline beyond the end of 2010.

Bulgaria's Deputy Minister of Transport Ivaylo Moskovski has made the announcement on Wednesday, stating that the contractee has made a realistic assessment that construction work would be completed by mid-2011.

The question is still open to discussion, added Moskovski, noting that, if an extension of the financial memoranda were to be granted, construction of the bridge would definitely be completed.

If funding was not extended by the EU, the project would need to be financed by the Bulgarian state in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Deputy Minister said.

Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov has meantime spoken by phone to Emil Boc, recently-elected Prime Minister of Romania, suggesting that an extension must be requested by Bulgaria and Romania - six months by each country, as otherwise up to EUR 200 M funding would be lost.

"In 2010 the door will be shut, and we will lose the money, and only a few columns on each side have been built by the two countries," Borisov said.

In June 2009, the then-Prime Minister, Sergey Stanishev, had announced the project was on schedule for completion by the end of 2010, noting only some small delays on the Romanian part of the project.

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