Today, Minister of Finance Mr. Zoran Stavreski and German Ambassador to Macedonia Ms. Ulrike Knotz signed a Loan Agreement for Water and Sewerage Programme Macedonia ad Financial and Technical Cooperation Protocol between the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.

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On the basis of these two documents, Germany awards funds to Macedonia in the amount of EUR 98.6 million, with 30-year repayment period, including 10-year grace period and 2% annual interest.

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Protocol defines the development cooperation between both countries in the field of water supply, wastewater drainage and treatment, sustainable economic growth, energy efficiency and renewable energy. According to the Agreement, Macedonia is awarded a loan in the amount of EUR 8, 635,000 for sustainable supply of drinking water to the population of Bitola, Gevgelija, Gostivar, Kavadraci, Kocani, Negotino, Radovis and Tetovo, as well as EUR 1.5 million donation for the accompanying measures.

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Minister Stavreski, expressing gratitude for the continuous cooperation and support extended by the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of Macedonia, said that today’s signing of the Development Cooperation Agreement shows that Germany remained to be one of the major political and economic partners of Macedonia.

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– Agreement covers development cooperation, on the basis of which, Germany will extend to Macedonia EUR 90 million, EUR 60 million out of which, for energy projects, mainly focused on revitalization of Macedonian hydropower plants and wind parks i.e. clean and renewable energy sources, while EUR 30 million will be used for water supply and sewerage projects in eight Macedonian communities, Stavreski said.

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He pointed out that the Federal Republic of Germany, under the previous Agreement, allocated EUR 8,635,000 for the first part of the Water and Sewerage Programme Macedonia, adding that the same loan conditions apply to all EUR 90 million.

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– This means that total of EUR 38,635,000 will be provided for water supply. EUR 8,635,000 is provided in the first project stage, and additional EUR 30 million afterwards. It is a large and significant assistance not only financial but also assistance showing the confidence Germany has in our perspectives for EU and NATO integrations, Stavreski said.

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Minister of Finance explained that the loan execution will take several years depending on project preparedness, some of which are in an advanced stage such as the projects for revitalization of hydropower plants in the amount of EUR 27 million and for wind parks.

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– As for the water supply, some of the municipalities are in an advanced stage, while some of them will need more time, so we expect for the projects to be realized in the next two-three years, Stavreski said.
German Ambassador to Macedonia, Ms. Knotz pointed once again that today’s signed Agreement and Protocol are proof of German and Macedonian cooperation and support Germany provides to Macedonia on its road to Euro-Atlantic integrations.

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– We hope the projects, which are part of the Protocol will improve the life and living conditions in the Republic of Macedonia, Ms. Knotz said.

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When asked about her expectations on Macedonia’s course should it receive positive assessment in the EC Progress Report, Ms. Knotz said that such positive assessment will be an incentive for Macedonia, ensuring positive course of the country.(MIA)

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