Bulgaria Recovered over 438 Million Levs in Blocked EU Funding – Environment Minister
Monday, 02 February 2015
The European Commission has restored over 438 million levs in blocked payments for November and December 2014 to Bulgaria, according to Environment Minister Ivelina Vasileva.
Vasileva told mediapool.bg Sunday that Brussels had restored payments under the program with an official decision date November 14.
Earlier the same day, former Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Zinaida Zlatanova said in an interview for the Bulgarian National Television that she was not aware of the existence of a decision to allocate funding to Bulgaria under the program.
“We heard about a political decision to unblock the money and I hope that we already have an official decision. I hope that I am mistaken in my belief that no funding has been allocated. This is just minor detail. Still, let us leave EU funds alone as this leaves people with the impression that Bulgaria has joined the EU just to get funding and this is not the case and it is an ugly suggestion” Zlatanova stated.
Bulgaria’s EU funding under the Environment operational program was blocked in November 2013 due to public procurement irregularities.
Bulgaria agreed to upgrade the control and verification systems and to also be imposed financial correction worth 156 million levs in order to have payments restored.
Vasileva explained that Bulgaria had fast-tracked activities aimed at finalizing the projects, adding that municipalities had been paid over 333 million levs for November and December.