EIB, EBRD, EU support construction of North Macedonia’s rail line

Balkans
Wed, 20 Dec 2023 7:40 GMT
The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union announced on Tuesday a 560 million euro ($613.87 million) financing package for North Macedonia to build a railway line to neighboring Bulgaria.
EIB, EBRD, EU support construction of North Macedonia’s rail line

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union announced on Tuesday a 560 million euro ($613.87 million) financing package for North Macedonia to build a railway line to neighboring Bulgaria.

In a statement, the EIB said the funds will be spent on the construction of 24 kilometres (15 miles) of railway from the eastern town of Kriva Palanka to the Bulgarian border and for the electrification of another 88 kilometres of track, along the so-called Corridor VIII.

The rail line is expected to transport approximately 500,000 tons of freight and half a million passengers annually.

The Corridor VIII is a transportation route connecting Albania’s Adriatic port of Durres and Bulgaria’s Black Sea port of Varna via North Macedonia.

North Macedonia, a NATO member, was given the green light for EU accession talks in 2020 after changing its name from Macedonia to satisfy Greek sensitivities. But talks have yet to begin in earnest, due to objections from Bulgaria over history and language. 

Reuters-kathimerini

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