Bulgaria, Romania Urged by MEPs to Take Prompt Measures to Scrap Danube Bridge Charges

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Bulgaria, Romania Urged by MEPs to Take Prompt Measures to Scrap Danube Bridge Charges

The collection of fees at the cross-Danubian bridge at Rousse-Giurgiu - the only bridge that links Bulgaria and Romania - goes counter the EU rules, Bulgarian MEP Nikolai Mladenov told a news briefing in Rousse on Sunday. He argued further that in 2007 Bulgaria netted nearly 25 million leva (about half this amount in euro) and spent only 35,000 leva for maintenance of the facility, BTA reported.

Mladenov is a vehement advocate of the charge-free crossing of Danube Bridge.

He recalled the European Commission's position on the Danube Bridge case: charges for the bridge could be collected only for the purpose of maintenance and provided that they do not impede the right of free moment of people and services.

Mladenov and Romanian MEP Marian-Jean Marinescu have sent letters to the Transport Ministers of Bulgaria and Romania urging them to take prompt measures for the removal of the fees collected at Danube Bridge.

The two threaten to take the matter to the European Court and challenge the legitimacy of the fees - if the competent state authorities of the two countries fail to react.

Bulgarian Transport Minister Peter Moutafchiev has repeatedly said in the past month that the calls for scrapping the bridge fees are well-grounded, but the decision depends on the Romanian side. His position is shared by EU Commissioner for Consumer Protection Meglena Kouneva.

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