BDZ OBTAINS BGL20MN FROM SOFIA AIRPORT
Thanks to its persistence the Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) managed to obtain for its own purposes BGL20MN of the funds, directed to the Sofia Airport. The money is the unutilized amount of the BGL35MN, planned in the 2001 State Budget Act for co-financing of the project for reconstruction and development of the Sofia Airport.BDZ will spend it to renovate some 20 km of the national railway network and will make a little progress in the implementation of the 1995 recovery programme. It is financed with a USD95MN credit from the World Bank, USD45MN from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), USD30MN export crediting from French, Swiss and Austrian banks, and USD130MN from the state budget. Under the programme, a 414-km railway had to be entirely repaired by the end of 1999. The deadline was later extended till March 2001, but there are only 247 km renovated so far. Meanwhile, the funds provided by all foreign credits for the reconstruction have been utilized and the State has fulfilled most of its financial commitments. It turns out that either the calculations of the recovery programme have been wrong, or the money launched has disappeared. As to the amounts spent, BDZ's 40,000 employees keep commenting the delivery of vast amounts of low-quality Macedonian sleepers and other suspicious deals. However, other authorities should investigate such deals.