News 10 Oct 12

Disputes Overshadow Delayed Danube Bridge Opening

Bulgaria and Romania are still exchanging accusations ahead of the planned opening of a new Danube bridge.

Marian Chiriac
Bucharest

Romanian and Bulgarian officials are still trading complaints ahead of the expected opening of a long-awaited bridge connecting the two countries.

The bridge over the Danube river, linking Vidin in Bulgaria and Calafat in Romania, is to open in early November at the latest.

“Romania has met all its commitments as we have finished all the works on the Romanian side of the bridge,” Septimiu Buzasu, the state secretary in the Romanian Ministry Transport, said recently.

“We would like more flexibility from the Bulgarian side regarding the future company that will have to manage the bridge,” he added.

The Romanian comments came shortly after Bulgaria complained that “political problems” in Romania were delaying the setting up of the company that will jointly manage the bridge.

“We attempted to meet several times, we wrote letters, but for the time being the answer from the Romanian side is that they don’t have a mandate to conduct such negotiations,” Bulgaria's Transport Minister, Ivaylo Moskovski, said last week.

Moskovski added that he would regret a situation in which the bridge was ready but could not be opened because of the lack of a management agreement.

Romania and Bulgaria agreed in 2000 to build a second bridge over the Danube, connecting Calafat and Vidin.

The EU provided some 106 million euro for the building of the bridge and adjoining infrastructure in the 2000-2006 period.

The new bridge, the only one along more than 300 km of the Danube, was set to be completed by October 2010.

But its opening was delayed several times due to technical difficulties. Construction is now nearly finished and the opening ceremony could take place by the end of October or the beginning of November.

Bulgaria and Romania possess only a single bridge between Giurgiu and Ruse across their 500-km river border and this is also their sole road connection. 

This lone monument of Romanian-Bulgarian socialist friendship is now over 50 years old and is heavily congested - the two road and rail lanes being wholly inadequate for increased volumes of traffic.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

serbian-activists-accuse-officials-of-making-threats-01-22-2017
23 Jan 17

Serbian Activists Accuse Official of Making Threats

A member of the Let’s not Drown Belgrade movement said a newly-employed staffer in the government’s Kosovo office was one of many people to have threatened them on social networks.

23 Jan 17

The Balkans Today: 23rd - 27th January 2017

23 Jan 17

Redrawing Balkan Borders Would Shock Europe

20 Jan 17

Bosnian Serb Invites to Trump Gala Disputed

Premium Selection

investment-in-macedonia-falls-short-of-govt-hype-01-23-2017
23 Jan 17

Investment in Macedonia Falls Short of Govt Hype

BIRN database shows foreign firms invested only a small fraction of money in Macedonian that officials said was in the pipeline.

capturing-the-image-of-ethnic-cleansing-in-bosnia-01-19-2017
23 Jan 17

Capturing the Image of Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia

Photojournalist Ron Haviv’s shocking image of a Serbian paramilitary kicking a woman’s corpse during the Bosnian war is one of the subjects of a forthcoming documentary about his most significant pictures.

20 Jan 17

Birth of Trump Era Divides Balkan Countries

18 Jan 17

Serbia Urged to Build on Results of 2016

17 Jan 17

Dodik’s Secession Talk Keeps Bosnia on Edge

Latest News from the Balkans

20 Jan 17

Bosnian Serb Invites to Trump Gala Disputed

20 Jan 17

Croatian School Removes Anne Frank Exhibition