EC official says Bulgaria's BDZ "not worth" financing

EC official says Bulgaria's BDZ "not worth" financing

Bulgaria's national railway carrier BDZ is the least developed railway operator in eastern Europe and it is no use pouring EU funds before its restructuring, Carsten Rasmussen, deputy head of the Bulgaria department at the European Commission's Regional Policy Directorate General, told a conference in Sofia on Tuesday.

Several months earlier, BDZ said it would seek to be listed as beneficiary under the EU's transport operational programme to obtain funds for various projects, including rolling stock purchases.

Rasmussen, however, made it clear that the request would not be approved until its overhaul.

BDZ's restructuring, which is expected to be completed in 2014, will be partly backed by a BGN 46 million loan from the World Bank.

"We fully support the restructuring of BDZ," Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen also criticised Bulgaria for its failure to absorb EU financing granted for railway projects. The level of funds allocated for infrastructure sectors such as transport and environment are still below the EU average, he added. /Source: Dnevnik/

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