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Bulgaria's capital Sofia officially opened its second metro line on Friday, with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso present at the event.
The second line of Sofia's metro both enhances the capital's transportation system and decreases environmental pollution, thus improving the living standard of thousands of citizens, Barroso pointed out during the opening ceremony. The EU leader is on an official visit to the country.
"The completion of the Sofia metro line is about much more than just getting from point A to point B. It demonstrates that Sofia is a vibrant and modern city, willing to invest in its future competitiveness, in its environment, and in its citizens," Barroso said.
He noted that Sofia's second metro line is a fitting example of what can be achieved with the help of European Union funds.
The European Union financed 50 percent of the project, paying a total of EUR 476 M.
"The metro line is also a fine demonstration of what can be achieved, and what we should aspire to, through the European Union structural and cohesion funds," Barroso said.
"Working side-by-side with the Bulgarian authorities, we have together completed this project that serves to stimulate the economy, make traffic safer and faster, and allow for a more pleasant urban life. This is what we mean when we talk about green, smart and sustainable growth," he added.
The second line will have 11 stations and will connect the districts of Obelya and Lozenets. The line has a capacity of 130,000 passengers a day. It will be served by 18 new energy saving metro trains.
The launch of the second metro line coincides with the opening of the Largo archaeological excavations in the heart of the capital.
The pedestrian zone of the Largo boasts large glass panels where residents and visitors can observe the excavations. The new central Serdika 2 station is also an archaeological exhibit where the items on display will be changed periodically.
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