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Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Romania's new centrist government said on Tuesday it was asking U.S. banks to lend funds needed to complete a controversial motorway being built by U.S. construction giant Bechtel.
The European Union, which Romania is to join in 2007, has slammed the 2.8 billion euro deal masterminded by the former ruling ex-communists because it was awarded without a tender, a move not allowed under EU rules.
Last week, centrist Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu said the project was not a priority for his cabinet, which was keen to build another road with EU backing because it is part of the wealthy bloc's European transport corridors.
The EU is sponsoring, through the European Investment Bank [EIB.UL], a motorway connecting Bucharest with the western city of Timisoara, at the border with Hungary, a road running almost parallel with the controversial Bechtel project.
Bechtel's four-lane, 415-km (258-mile) motorway, on which work started last June, is expected to be completed in 2012 and has been designed to link the Transylvanian city of Brasov with the town of Bors on the border with Hungary.
The review carried out by British firm Hyder Consulting Ltd said the price of the project was fair.
For 2005, the government had earmarked 360 million euros from the state budget for the motorway but the figure will have to be cut by about 100 million euros to reduce a ballooning budget deficit.
Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 4/06/2005 12:33:00 pm
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