Bulgarian companies and institutions will get 126.6 million euro in grants from a financing package of a total of 347 million euro to be provided annually in the 2009-2014 period by EEA/EFTA countries Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland under an agreement recently signed with the EU, Norwegian Ambassador in Sofia Tove Skarstein said in a statement.

The funding will be available for projects relating to health, research, education, culture and human resources in the new EU Members States, including Bulgaria, as well as Portugal, Greece and Spain.

Providing as much as 97 per cent of the funding, Norway again stands out as the prime contributor in this funding scheme and a major cooperation partner of Bulgarian business and government, the statement goes.

The new grant package will furnish Bulgaria with yet another opportunity to cope with the aftermath of the financial and economic crisis, Ambassador Skarstein says. She adds that ways for efficient absorption of the grant funds will be negotiated by Norway and Bulgaria in the autumn of 2010 with the active assistance of the Norwegian Embassy in Sofia.

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