Certified payments made under EU-funded operational programme Regional Development in Bulgaria total 878 million levs ($578.9 million/448.9 million euro), the regional development ministry said on Thursday.
The sum amounts to 28% of the entire budget of the programme, the ministry said in a statement.
The funding agreements signed so far under the programme add up to some 2.81 billion levs, equivalent to 90% of the entire budget. They include projects for integrated and sustainable urban development, contracts for preparing integrated plans for urban rehabilitation and development as well as upgrades on second- and third-grade roads across the country, among other projects.
However, if Bulgaria fails to disburse a further 1.0 billion levs by the end of 2013, it will have to pay back EU funds, state-run Bulgarian News Agency quoted regional development minister Lilyana Pavlova as saying on Thursday at a news conference.