The Vice Prime Minister (for European Affairs, Knowledge-based Society, Human Rights and Minorities), Dušan Čaplovič, dismissed earlier criticism levelled by the SDKÚ opposition party at what the party called a 'abysmally low amount' of funds drawn from the European Union earmarked for Slovakia in the 2007-13 programming period, the TASR newswire reported.
At a press conference in Bratislava on August 5, SDKÚ said only 0.82 percent of well over €11 billion of the EU funds set for use by Slovakia – after one third of the six year period – has been drawn to date.
But according to Čaplovič, 17.8 percent of the total funds have been drawn. Slovakia has recently been judged to be the most successful country in the Visegrad 4 (including also the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland) in drawing European Union funds after the country has managed to implement a great number of publicly beneficial schemes and projects, Čaplovič said to TASR.
Čaplovič also rejected SDKÚ’s claim of paltry funds being drawn from the Operational Programme Transportation - Motorway. He noted that earlier on that day Prime Minister Robert Fico toured the D-1 motorway stretch at Považská Bystrica, for which €298.74 million was drawn from the European Union. More traffic infrastructure-related projects are getting off the ground, including those previously blocked by legislative complications. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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