Macedonia received on Friday 145 million euros (178 million U.S. dollars) in sovereign loan from European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to construct a Pan-European railroad.
The loan will finance the construction of the Macedonian section of the Corridor VIII -- the Beljakovce-Kriva Palanka railroad, which is designed to connect Black sea coast in Bulgaria and Adriatic coast in Albania.
The key east-west section is 34 km long, along which two stations, three stands, 14 tunnels and 11 new bridges will be constructed and 33 bridges will be reconstructed.
"Construction of Corridor VIII Rail brings multiple political and economic values. It is a good opportunity to establish a bridge between the West and the East, and hence when the construction of the whole railway tracks is completed, traveling by land from Skopje to Istanbul will take an hour and a half less," said Zoran Stavreski, deputy prime minister and minister of finance.
The transportation of cargos and passengers is expected to be boosted along the routes spanning Italy, Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria, said Stavreski.