EU agrees funds to clear Danube of Nato debris

BRUSSELS, Jul 27, 2000 -- (Reuters) The European Union's executive body on Wednesday completed the final paperwork to contribute up to 22 million euros ($20.70 million) to help clear NATO bomb debris from the Danube, one of Europe's key waterways.

"The decision which the Commission has adopted today is the implementing decision and will be followed by the transfer of funds to the international fund, which has been established in Vienna by the Danube Commission," it said in a statement.

The EU has agreed to pay up to 85 percent of the cost of the project agreed by the international body with responsibility for Danube navigation.

Eleven weeks of NATO air strikes on Yugoslavia last year brought down several bridges, causing severe economic disruption to countries that rely on the Danube to ship goods.

Under the project the wreckage of three bridges bombed into the river at the northern Serbian city of Novi Sad will be cleared.

The fund does not involve the reconstruction of any bridges.

Original article