Bulgaria, the poorest country in the EU, to renovate bridges after Italy bridge collapse

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has said that all of Bulgaria’s bridges must be renovated and strengthened.
Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has said that all of Bulgaria’s bridges must be renovated and strengthened.PHOTO: REUTERS

SOFIA (AFP) - Bulgaria has decided to renovate more than 200 bridges in the wake of the deadly collapse of a bridge in the Italian city of Genoa, according to government information published on Thursday (Aug 16).

A total of 211 bridges - most of which were built between 35 and 40 years ago - are in a bad state, the regional development minister told a government meeting, according to minutes published on Thursday.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said all must be renovated and strengthened.

"Whether financed through loans to be paid back through tolls or whether we pay with the budget, I want them all to renovated at the same time," he told the meeting held on Wednesday (Aug 15).

Bulgaria, the poorest country in the EU, has been receiving financial aid from Europe for decades to modernise its infrastructure.

The country is nearly four times the size of Belgium but has only 777km of motorway, much of which is in a bad state of repair.

The motorway bridge in the Italian city of Genoa collapsed on Tuesday (Aug 14) during a heavy rainstorm, killing at least 38 people and injuring 16 more.