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Radičová: EC open to reassigning funds to highways

PM Iveta Radičová has announced that EC President Jose Manuel Barroso is now more open to shifting EU funding away from other operational programmes in order to support Slovakia’s motorway construction.

PM Iveta Radičová has announced that EC President Jose Manuel Barroso is now more open to shifting EU funding away from other operational programmes in order to support Slovakia’s motorway construction.

Speaking to members of the Parliamentary Committee for European Affairs on March 14, Radičová reported on her recent discussions with Barroso during an extraordinary session of the European Council in Brussels on March 11, the TASR newswire wrote.

Barroso conceded that there is a possibility that funds could be re-allocated on a conditional basis, said Radičová.

"We were given the demanding homework assignment of drafting some projects that aren’t public-private partnership projects or overpriced ... In the event that the EU funds earmarked for highways aren’t sufficient, which we already know will be the case, the European Commission isn't ruling out the possibility of re-allocating funds from other operational programmes," said Radičová.

Funnelling new money into highway construction won’t have a negative impact on the funding of other projects, as the new measure would only concern funds that either were not needed or saved through negotiating more competitive contracts.

Transport Minister Ján Figeľ originally requested the EC's support for the plan two weeks ago. Radičová said that Barroso's stance on the issue had become "more lenient" in recent talks.

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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