Brussels “Unfreezes” E1,25 Bln. for Road Infrastructure
Lyulin Highway Section 1 inauguration postponed till July 31
Bulgaria's Deputy PM in charge of the EU funds absorption, Meglena Plugchieva, and the chairman of the supervisory board of the National Agency "Road Infrastructure", Ivan Atanassov, inspected the construction works of the Lyulin Highway
Brussels unblocked 1,25 billion euros that was intended for Bulgarian roads. A letter from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Regional Development giving the green light to agreements under operational programs, has reached Bulgaria’s National Road Infrastructure Agency, NRIA Supervisory Committee Chair Ivan Atanassov announced.
Thus in practice, 1,25 billion euros has been unfrozen to fund Struma, Trakia, Hemus and Gara Yana highways under Transport operative program as well as 14 road sections under Regional Development operational program.
In the beginning of 2008 EC canceled all NRIA agreements under operative programs over a fraud scandal involving then NRIA Director Vesselin Georgiev. PHARE and ISPA funding was also terminated back then due to similar violations. The unblocking of EU funds for Bulgarian roads comes a year after NRIA’s public disgrace and multiple checks on the projects funding control and management systems. A month ago, EC allowed the absorption of 115 million euros for Lyulin Highway’s construction under ISPA. The opening of the highway’s first section was supposed to take place yesterday but, alas, it did not, thus making The Standart’s prognosis come true. “We’ll complete the section by July 31,” Atanassov promised while inspecting the works’ progress along with Bulgaria’s Deputy PM in charge of EU funds absorption Meglena Plugchieva.