Bulgarian EU Funds Minister Hopes for 75% ISPA Absorption

Bulgarian EU Funds Minister Hopes for 75% ISPA Absorption

The Bulgarian Minister for EU Funds, Tomislav Donchev, is hoping that the absorbed funding under the ISPA program will reach 75% by the end of the program.

"So far, we have absorbed 56% of the contracted funds under the ISPA program. Our expectation is that by the end of the program, we will have absorbed 75% of the funds under the program," Donchev said Thursday.

He also announced that next week Bulgaria will sign an agreement with Switzerland, according to which Bulgaria will receive financial support amounting to CHF 76 M for four spheres that are priority for the country.

Donchev has assuaged the fears that Bulgaria will lose large sums of money under the ISPA program and pointed out that it was too early to make final conclusions.

The Minister for EU Funds has stated that there are some projects that are being negotiated for extensions.

"We are still negotiating on the four projects in the Bulgarian cities of Varna, Shumen, Svilengrad and Balchik. My personal expectation is that at least two of them would receive an extension until the end of 2011," Donchev said.

He explained that the unfinished parts of the projects would be transferred to the operational program Environment.

"With this transfer, in the final stage of the execution of the program, I expect the percentage of the absorbed amount to exceed 70%, maybe even 75-76%," the minister said.

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