Construction of Bulgaria’s Trakiya Highway to restart

By Richard High02 July 2008

Bulgaria's minister of Regional Development and Public Works, Asen Gagauzov, has announced that construction of the remaining stretch of the Trakiya Highway will start in September, according to local media reports.

Tenders for the project are currently under review and a winning construction consortium should be announced in July, added Mr Gagauzov.

Construction of European Commission funded roads in Bulgaria stopped earlier this year after two directors of the state-owned National Road Infrastructure Fund (NRIF) were caught taking bribes. The European Commission asked for funds to be frozen pending investigations.

Funds for the start of the works, said Mr Gagauzov, would therefore be provided from the state budget. "We need to show Brussels there is no abuse of EU, or Bulgarian state budget funds", said Mr Gagauzov.

Mr Gagauzov was quoted as saying he expects the block on EU funding to be lifted within a month thanks to NRIF's efforts to improve its organization and transparency.

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