Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bulgaria, Romania Agree to Speed up Construction of Danube Bridges

Sofia News Agency
24 February 2009, Tuesday

Bulgaria's Transport Minister, Petar Mutafchiev, and his Romanian counterpart, Radu Berceanu, reached an agreement Tuesday to accelerate the construction of the so called Danube Bridge II on Romanian territory, the Bulgarian Transport Ministry announced.

The Ministers met in the Romanian town of Kalafat, which is supposed to be connected with Bulgaria's Vidin over the Danube by what will become the second bridge between the two countries.

The Romanian side has confirmed that it was to select an executer of the construction works on the working infrastructure on its side of the Danube River. The Romanian authorities still need to expropriate certain forest plots in order to allow the Spanish company constructing the bridge, FCC, to complete the construction.

The two sides are also negotiating to set up a joint organization which is going to manage the new bridge, and have agreed that the subcommittee, which is to monitor the construction, and which has been created at the initiative of the European Commission, would meet on March 31 for the first time.

The Transport Ministers of Bulgaria and Romania also agreed to support initiatives for the construction of new bridges connecting the two states over the Danube - at Oryahovo-Beket and at Silistra-Calarasi.

Romania will be in charge of the explorations of the Oryahovo-Beket project, and Bulgaria will be in charge of the Silistra-Calarasi project.

In addition, Bulgaria has agreed that Romania would become the regional coordinator of the TNT project for creating a joint air space block.

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