Bulgaria to fund two transport projects ahead of EC's approval

Bulgaria to fund two transport projects ahead of EC's approval

Bulgaria's Government agreed on Thursday to allocate funds for two major projects under the European Union's Transport operational programme although the state's application for EU financing has not been cleared yet.

By the time the Commission decides whether to disburse funds for the extension of Sofia's underground system and the overhaul of the railroad section linking the cities of Plovdiv and Bourgas, the projects' costs will be covered with money from the state budget, the Government said in a statement.

Should the EC decide not to finance the projects, the subway's construction will be paid by Sofia's municipality, while the railway stretch repairs will be funded by the state budget, with money already absorbed under the programme to be returned.

The measures are aimed at completing the projects within the deadline set by the EU, the statement said.

The estimated cost of the subway's extension is BGN 755 million, including funds for rolling stock purchases, of which BGN 490 million are expected to be provided under the operational programme.

In turn, the key railroad section's rehabilitation is valued at BGN 490 million, with BGN 427.6 million of the total expected to be EU funds.

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