April 5, 2000The battle for the money allotted to the reconstruction of the Balkans begins
Bucharest - The first regional conference on the financing of the SouthEast European countries has had a less expected final: the total sum collected from the donations raised at 2.4 billion euro, exceeding the initially estimated sum with 700,000 euro.
But as the money have been allotted for each project, all the participating countries are now in the situation to obtain financing within the Quick Start Package for other projects than the ones they staked on at the beginning.
Perhaps this is the reason why, after the evaluation of the projects for the Quick Start on 19-20 April, another regional Conference on financing might be held in May for tackling the new projects proposed by the countries in the zone.
This means that some of the projects proposed initially for the financing of the projects on the short term might be included in the Quick Start package. The ambitions must be great and the battle is sure to be a tough one as once with the opening of the negotiations with the EU, the interest is that the project should be put into practice as soon as possible, especially for Romania and Bulgaria.
Romania has the best plans
Romania is the first country in the zone that has proposed a coherent action plan (on infrastructure, commerce, etc.), which the Government approved at the end of July 1999. The plan was officially presented in Bari in October 1999, where Romania also presented 40 projects on infrastructure (transportation, the reconstruction of the water supply networks, the modernization of the airports and ports, the modernization of the electricity network and of the underground network in Bucharest, etc.), the European Investment Bank taking into consideration only 23.
Of course, Romania will have to present among other arguments, the feasibility studies for each of the projects taken into consideration so that they are included as soon as possible in one of the first packages of financed projects.