EUR33MN TO BE SPENT ON JOINT PROJECTS
Good neighbourly relations between Bulgaria on one part, and Greece, Romania, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, on the other hand, will be fastened by the implementation of joint projects, worth EUR33MN. The funds will be allocated to our country under the EU's PHARE Transborder Cooperation Programme. For that purpose the Bulgarian Finance Minister Milen Velchev and Dimitris Kourkoulas, Head of the EC Delegation to Bulgaria, signed four memoranda on Tuesday (May 10). EUR20MN of the grant money will be spent on joint initiatives with Greece. the budget of the programme with Romania is EUR8MN. We'll get EUR3MN for the cooperation with Serbia and Montenegro, and EUR2MN - with Macedonia. Co-financing of almost EUR7.7MN will be released by the republican budget. The amount of EUR33MN will be absorbed within the framework of projects for improvement of transport infrastructure in the border regions, environmental protection, development of culture and leisure industry, promotion of the economic activity of citizens on both sides of the border, etc. Seven projects are included in the memorandum between Bulgaria and Greece. Part of the EUR20MN, for instance, will finance the construction of a new second-class road from Novo Selo to the Maritsa motorway, northwest of Svilengrad. At a later stage the newly-built road is to be expanded to the Bourgas port in order to create a direct transport link with the Greek port of Alexandrouplolis. The bulk of the funds for cooperation with Romania will be invested in improvement of infrastructure. One of the joint projects is for rehabilitation of the road from Pleven to Nikopol. The aim is to facilitate the driving of cars and heavy-duty trucks to the ferry from Nikopol to Turnu Magurele. Currently, a new border check-point is under construction there, financed by money from the PHARE Transborder Cooperation Programme for the year 2002. In the next two years Bulgaria and Romania are expected to set up in the Dobroudja region a joint monitoring and info system for underground waters control.The EUR2MN from Brussels, earmarked for cooperation with Macedonia, will be distributed between two projects in the sectors of environmental protection and leisure industry, and for technical support. The financial memorandum with Serbia and Montenegro includes three projects.