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EC has positive assessment of Latvia's proposals on redistribution of EU funds

Aleksis Jarockis. Photo: Edijs Palens/LETA.
 RIGA, Dec 19 - The Finance Ministry has has received an official reply from the European Commission (EC) in regard to Latvia's proposals on the redistribution of European Union (EU) funds, originally meant for the failed train procurement, for other purposes, LETA was informed by Finance Ministry spokesman Aleksis Jarockis.
He said that the EC has sent a positive assessment about Latvia's proposals, but also sent additional questions, which the Transport Ministry and the Finance Ministry will now work on.
As reported, on October 23, the government decided to give the Transport Ministry and the Finance Ministry mandates to begin discussion with the European Commission on redistributing Cohesion funds from the failed train procurement for other purposes. The Transport Ministry believes that these funds must primarily be distributed to improve rail infrastructure, as well as maintaining roads, that lead to rail infrastructure objects.
At the beginning of October Latvia's passenger train operator "Pasazieru vilciens" and Spain's train manufacturer "Construcciones y Auxiliares de Ferrocariles S.A." (CAF) failed to reach an agreement on the procurement of new trains.
"Pasazieru vilciens" announced the train procurement in December 2009. In March 2011, the European Commission confirmed that LVL 100 million would be provided from the European Union's Cohesion Fund for the project. Under the failed contract, the total cost of new 34 electric trains and seven diesel trains that "Pasazieru vilciens" wanted to buy was LVL 144, of which LVL 100 million would have been covered from the bloc's Cohesion funds, whereas "Pasazieru vilciens" co-financing would be LVL 44 million.
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