PM Ponta: April-May 2013 would be a realistic deadline for opening the Calafat-Vidin bridge

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Romania’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Wednesday voiced hopes that he and his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov will be the first to cross by car the bridge over the Danube at Calafat-Vidin, saying that April-May 2013 would be a realistic deadline for the opening of the bridge.

Ponta was a on a working visit to the bridge that links Romania to Bulgaria being built by the two countries, 95 percent of which is completed in Romania.

‘I hope that together with Boyko we will be here in the first car that will cross the bridge,’ said Ponta.

‘And Commissioner Hahn,’ said Borisov.

‘I will come by bicycle,’ replied European Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn.

Ponta underscored the need to build the related infrastructure, insisting that without this infrastructure the bridge would be unusable.

‘The railway and the road are equally important as the bridge. In my opinion, the completion of the bridge is just the beginning of the related infrastructure projects. We have to work together on this and we need the aid of the European Commission as well as funds to improve the infrastructure. Then, politicians will have to make decisions more quicker,’ said Ponta.

He added that in the time since the initiative to build the bridge was taken and the works ended in Romania, five prime ministers were in office.

The decision to build the Calafat-Vidin Bridge was taken under an agreement between the Romanian Government and the Bulgarian Government on technical, financial legal and organisational matters pertaining to the construction of a mixed road and railway border bridge between Romania and Bulgaria over the Danube, signed on June 5, 2000 in Bucharest.

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