Serbia to Finish North-South Road by 2015 With Link to Bulgaria

Serbia may spend as much as 400 million euros ($523 million) on highway construction in 2012 as it seeks to complete its main north-south route in three years.

The six-lane highway from the northern border with Hungary to Macedonia in the south will be finished by 2015 when some 200 kilometers (125 miles) of the remaining sections are completed, mostly with support from the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank, said Mihajlo Misic, director of Koridori Srbije, the state-run road development company.

“We expect only a symbolic amount from the state budget, the bulk of financing will come from the international banks,” Misic told reporters in Belgrade today. The remaining sections include a 83.3 kilometer (51.7 miles) link to the eastern neighbor Bulgaria, which should be completed in 2014, he said.

Serbia has relied on foreign financing for the project as it seeks to cut budget spending and reduce its budget deficit to 4.25 percent of gross domestic product in 2012 from 4.5 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at msavic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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