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News 23 Nov 17

Bulgaria, Macedonia Agree to Drop Roaming Charges

The Bulgarian and Macedonian governments, at their first joint session in Strumica on Thursday, signed cooperation agreements on energy, infrastructure and telecommunications.

Mariya Cheresheva, Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Sofia, Skopje
The ministers of the two countries following Thursday's meeting. Photo: MIA

Bulgaria and Macedonia will drop roaming charges, according to a memorandum signed by the transport ministers of the two countries Ivaylo Moskovski and Damjan Mancevski, at a joint governmental session on Thursday.

The deal foresees that the two governments will encourage mobile operators to sign mutual agreements that allow for a sustainable decrease in international tariffs for roaming services.

During the joint session held in Strumica, Macedonia, and headed by the Bulgarian and Macedonian Prime Ministers, Boyko Borissov and Zoran Zaev, the two cabinets signed agreements on nine areas.

They included foreign policy, transport and telecommunications, investment, energy, infrastructure, defence, tourism, and reactions to disasters.

The two countries agreed, among other things, to cooperate on construction of a new gas interconnector and the pan-European corridor eight connecting the Albanian city Durres with Varna on the Bulgarian Black Sea, as well as a railway linking the capitals of Sofia and Skopje.

“I hope that in the next three to six months, people will have cheaper roaming, that we have the opportunity for an alternative natural gas supply [from Bulgaria] ... and that all that we do translates into gains for the people of both countries,” Zaev said following the meeting.

“People want jobs, people want to travel, people want to do business. We are obliged to provide them with this,” Borissov said, adding that he had backed the further European integration of the Western Balkans at meetings with the presidents of the European Commission and European Parliament Jean-Claude Juncker and Antonia Tajani.

The joint government meeting between Bulgaria and Macedonia was agreed in August when the two countries signed a historic friendship treaty.

Zaev announced on Thursday that the bilateral treaty will be ratified by Macedonia's parliament in December. 

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