Bulgaria Highways in Doubt after EU Report

  • 16 years ago
  • Uncategorized
The booming housing and property market of Bulgaria has been propelled with help from the country’s recent entry in the European Union. Now, however, that body is about to take a bite out of the country with a recently issued report on corruption and mismanagement. The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) just released a report on corruption and bad management within Bulgaria and it is threatening to freeze millions of Euros in funding for infrastructure projects in the country.
One of the main funds that was benefitting from joining the EU was the National Road Infrastructure Fund, which was a key in drawing new development and travelers to the country. Bulgaria has a plan for major infrastructure development to building 720 kilometers of new highways by 2015, but that is now in doubt. Three key roads that were under development have now been threatened by the frozen funds. Currently, the amount of frozen fund stands at €144 million, but if things aren’t straightened out it could go higher.
Maritza is the main the highway to the Turkish border and €167 million was coming from the EU. With just 5 out of 72 kilometers built, it still has a long way to go. Hemus is the main highway that connects Sofia to the Black Sea resort of Varna. It is being upgraded, with €25.6 million of the cost coming from the EU. Finally, Struma is the new highway from Sofia to Greece and of the estimated €600 million, cost €480 was to come from the EU.
With so much investment at risk, the country now has to prove to the EU that it can spend money wisely and wipe out the corruption of its past.
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