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Bulgaria Halts Major Rail Road Rehabilitation Tender

Date: 15.06.2010

The much needed rehabilitation of the railroad connecting Bulgaria's second largest city of Plovdiv to the Black Sea city of Burgas has been stopped over overblown prices from the public tender bidders. File photo The Bulgarian National Company Railroad Infrastructure announced Monday it officially halted the public tender for the rehabilitation of the railroad between the cities of Plovdiv and Burgas.

A week ago, the European Commission warned the country that if it goes on with the tender it might suspend financing from the EU Transport program. The move to stop the deal came on the advice of the Bulgarian Transport Ministry, which is the beneficiary for the project.

The EC had pointed out serious suspicions of corruption and conflict of interests. The Railroad company explain their probe did not discover violations, but motivates the decision with inflated prices from the two bidders admitted to the tender's final stage.

The Interior Ministry is conducting their own probe. The results will be reported to the Minister for the EU Funds, Tomislav Donchev, who says the information on the case is still confidential.

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