Skopje, 28th September 2015 (MIA) – Today, Ministry of Finance and Kratovo and Berovo Municipalities, signed the first grant agreements intended for municipalities, aimed at improving the rural infrastructure, provided from the European Union through IPA Programme.

Kratovo and Berovo are the first municipalities that completed the projects approved for funding. Under the Programme, 78 municipalities in Macedonia, applying for 141 projects will receive EUR 23 million, out of which EUR 13.5 million is IPA grant, EUR 4.4 million is provided from the Budget of the Republic of Macedonia, while EUR 5 million comes from the municipal budgets. Rural municipalities will receive EUR 260,000 each, while each of the urban municipalities will receive a grant amounting to EUR 120,000, which should be aimed at projects in the rural parts of these municipalities.

Kratovo and Berovo have been given grants in the total amount of EUR 385,000, out of which Berovo Municipality has received a grant in the amount of EUR 125,000 for construction of “Dame Gruev Street” in the inhabited area Rusinovo and “Marsal Tito” Street, spreading from the square until Berovo Lake. Moreover, Berovo will receive additional EUR 135,000 for building a green market after the project documentation is completed.

Kratovo Municipality has received grants in the amount of EUR 260,000 intended for building a parking lot in the City of Kratovo, constructing the local road in the inhabited area “Zeleznica”, and reconstructing the arterial 2-lane road “Goce Delcev” Street in Kratovo. Overall investment for Kratovo Project is worth EUR 298.000, out of which EUR 38,000 will be provided from the municipality.

– These are the first two municipalities receiving financial resources from the European Funds aimed at realizing significant projects, to be followed by signing grant agreements with all other 78 municipalities in the Republic of Macedonia that submitted documentation, which is to be gradually considered, checked and completed. I expect soon to enable the other municipalities to begin the implementation of significant infrastructure projects, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Zoran Stavreski said after the Agreements signing ceremony.

He expressed gratitude to the EU citizens who, as he said, provided funds for implementation of these projects.

– We appreciate these funds, which we use for economic development of the Republic of Macedonia. Realization of this Project and this Programme will contribute to enhancing the economic and social development, also providing for equal regional development of the country. Improvement of the infrastructure in the rural areas will provide for better life of the citizens living in these areas, Stavreski said.

EU Ambassador Aivo Orav pointed out that signing of the grant agreements between the Ministry of Finance and Kratovo and Berovo Municipalities is under the EC Rural Investment Trust Fund in the total amount of around US$ 20 million, administered by the World Bank and 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 funds will be given to rural municipalities aimed at enhancing the regional development. Total of five projects will be implemented in Kratovo and Berovo, being aimed at improving the traffic conditions and the safety of pedestrians, as well as the access to remote areas. These Projects will not only improve the life of citizens, but they will also contribute to the economic development of municipalities, Orav said.

He expressed hope that each euro from the grants coming from the EU citizens will be efficiently used so as to get the country closer to the EU.

Mayor of Kratovo Mite Andonovski pointed out that the grants are of great significance, particularly for the rural municipalities.

– Funds will be used for solving big number of infrastructure problems in the municipality, thus improving the quality of life of the citizens, Andonovski said.

His counterpart from Berovo Dragi Naginski said that the grants will be used for the facilities as planned. He stressed that the municipal administration of Berovo works well, applying for projects on time.

– I hope that this type of work, which provides for resolving infrastructure and other problems of Berovo citizens, will also continue in future, Naginski said.

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