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NEWS BRIEFS

Five million euro granted for Slovak-Hungarian projects

Slovak Deputy Prime Minister Pavol Hamžík and the Hungarian minister responsible for the co-ordination of the PHARE program, Imre Boros, signed a memorandum May 3 which allocated 2.5 million euros from each country's European Commission's funds for cooperation between Slovakia and Hungary to a variety of cross-boundary programs.

Hamžík told the press that special commissions next week will deal with the concrete steps of the cooperation. However, mutual aid in reducing unemployment in southern Slovakia, mainly in the districts of Rimavská Sobota, Veľký Krtíš, Revuca, and Lučenec will be the focus of the project. Support for small- and medium-sized businesses on both sides of the border, shaping joint projects and re-qualifying training are also being considered.

A new border crossing, which would be a bridge over the Danube between Štúrovo and Esztergom will cost 20 million euros, Hamžík said. He specified that both parties would apply for 5 million euros. According to Boros, works on the bridge have not started yet, but the project documentation is being finished. The partners will strive to complete the bridge by 2001.

The EC will also support trans-border cooperation between Slovakia and the Czech Republic with 2 million euros and with Austria with the sum of 4 million euros.

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