Minister says talks with Hungary on key rail project to resume
Speaking to the Koper-based newspaper Primorske Novice, Bratušek said it would be unfair to just break off talks with Hungary on its involvement in the new Koper-Divača railway.
If Hungary did not take part in the project, which is valued at EUR 960m, Bratušek believes its investment could be offset by additional capital from the state or a higher loan.
She said that both options were viable and that none would be pressure on the general government deficit.
The new minister assured the paper that preparatory work for the project dubbed as the second track would begin this year and construction of the track would begin in her term.
A draft investment plan is ready, but the minister would not discuss it until it is confirmed. "I don't expect any major change of the price," she said.
But Bratušek said that the cost of the project, estimated at EUR 960m by the previous government, would be re-examined.
"We will first check on the audit of the financial part of the investment which was conducted for the European Investment Bank. If we are happy with the document, this will be the basis to estimate the cost. If not, the ministry will revise the project again."
After the project is transferred from the Infrastructure Agency to the 2TDK company, expectedly by mid-October, the next step would be publishing the main tender. "Our job is to speed up things as much as possible."
Bratušek repeated that the port of Koper was so important that it must remain fully state-owned. "I'm not for having foreign partners get in, I've told you that in the case of Hungary, which wanted to lease certain plots. Shutting the door completely to any deal with anyone wouldn't really make sense, but I see no need to change the situation in any way at the moment," the minister said, referring to Luka Koper.