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Small beetle stops Romania’s most awaited infrastructure project

Christian Fernsby |
The European Commission (EC) has postponed its decision on granting financing for Romania’s most awaited infrastructure project the Sibiu-Pitesti highway, which should link Southern Romania and the capital Bucharest to the Transylvania region and Western Europe.

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The EC’s decision was determined by “very vague” environment protection objectives included in the report on the environmental impact of the project, which the Romanian Government sent to Brussels along with the financing request.

The EC’s concerns are related to the highway project’s impact on Morimus Funereus, a species of beetle that lives in the area where the highway will be built. Morimus Funereus, also known as the tailor beetle is on the list of animal and plant species of community interest whose conservation requires the designation of special areas of conservation.

The authorities in Brussels have sent Romania a list of questions on the project’s impact and the protection measures to be implemented. The Romanian authorities have two months to send their answers or the financing request could be denied, according to Ziarul Financiar.

Romania is trying to get EU financing that covers 85% of the project’s cost, which is estimated at some EUR 3 billion.

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