Kratovo and Berovo first of 78 municipalities received grant from the IPA capital investment

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Ministry of Finance and Kratovo and Berovo municipalities signed first agreements for grant funds intended for municipalities for improvement of rural infrastructure, provided by the EU’s Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) programme.

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Kratovo and Berovo municipalities are the first that completed projects approved for funding. 78 municipalities in Macedonia that applied for 141 projects will receive €23 million, of which €13.5 million are IPA grant, €4.4 million come from the state budget and €5 million from the municipal budgets. Rural municipalities will receive €260.000, while urban €120.000, grant that should be aimed at projects in rural parts of those municipalities.

Kratovo and Berovo are given funds totaling €385.000, of which Berovo receives a grant of €125.000 for construction of streets in Rusinovo and Berovo lake. Moreover, Berovo is to receive additional €135.000 for building a green market.

Kratovo also receives grants €260.000 earmarked for the construction of parking, building a local road and reconstruction of a street. The overall investment for the project is €298.000, whereat Kratovo municipality will provide €38.000.

These are the first two municipalities that receive European funds for the implementation of important projects, grant agreements signing with all 78 municipalities that submitted documentation are to follow in the future. I expect soon to enable other municipalities to begin construction of significant infrastructure projects, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Zoran Stavreski said after agreements signing ceremony.

He thanked the citizens of the EU that provided funds for implementation of these projects.

These are funds that we respect and use for economic development of the country. The implementation of this project and this programme will increase economic and social development and will ensure balanced regional development. The improvement of infrastructure in rural areas will enable better life for citizens living in these areas, Stavreski said.

EU Ambassador Aivo Orav said that the grant agreements between Ministry of Finance and Kratovo and Berovo municipalities are signed in the frameworks of the EC Rural Investment trust fund with a total amount of US$20 million which is administered by the World Bank, co-financed by the EU and the Ministry of Finance.

Almost all municipalities in the country will benefit from these funds, but most of the financial resources will be given to rural areas aimed at contributing to regional development. Kratovo and Berovo will implement five projects designed to improve traffic conditions and pedestrian safety as well as access to remote areas. These projects will not only improve the lives of citizens, but will also contribute to economic development of municipalities, Orav said.

Mayor of Kratovo municipality Mite Andonovski underlined that the funds are of great importance especially for resolving numerous infrastructure problems in the municipality.

Dragi Nadzinski, mayor of Berovo expressed hopes that this type of work which provides solution to infrastructure and other problems for the citizens will also continue in the future