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Serbia: Vucic and Hahn at opening of new bridge in Novi Sad

It had been destroyed in the NATO raids in 1999. EU funding

01 September, 17:18
(ANSA) - BELGRADE, SEPTEMBER 1 - Serbia's president Aleksandar Vucic and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn today attended in Novi Sad, the capital city of Vojvodina in northern Serbia, the opening ceremony of a new bridge over the Danube. The former bridge had been destroyed in the Nato bombings in 1999. The European Union gave an important financial support to the reconstruction. Hahn described the new bridge as a symbol of Serbia's European future. ''I cannot imagine a better symbol to describe the meaning of European integration'', he said. ''Integration means building bridges between countries and peoples, and we are building bridges with you, not just for you'', the European Commissioner added, underlining the progress made by Serbia towards EU membership. Out of 54 million euros that is the overall cost of the bridge, the EU gave 35 million.

And this is only a small part of EU aid to Serbia, which has totalled 2.2bn euros since 2007. President Vucic, thanking the EU for its support, reminded that the old bridge finally collapsed on April 23, 1999 after being hit 12 times by the bombs dropped by Nato aircrafts. The new bridge is 474 meters long and 31.4 meters wide, it is made of steel and consists of a roadway, two railway tracks and lanes for pedestrians and cyclists. The opening ceremony was attended by some ministers of the Serbian government, the speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic, the head of the EU representative in Belgrade, Sem Fabrizi (Italy) and numerous diplomatsM, including Italian ambassador, Carlo Lo Cascio.


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