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Cost overruns mar EU funded library project

Feb 13, 2014
From wire reports, VILNIUS

Lithuania's Parliament Speaker Loreta Grauziniene on Feb. 12 visited Kretinga and inspected its Valancius Public Library, where construction has stalled, reports ELTA.

The construction of the library, started in 2006, has still not been completed. Funds amounting to 1.4 million euros from the State Investment Program have already been spent on the project. The leadership of Kretinga District Municipality says that to complete the construction, another 2.9 million euros are necessary.

"When beginning such projects, when huge sums of the EU and the state budget are allocated, the implementation of buildings and their purpose should be considered with more responsibility [than this one has shown]. The project has not been properly thought through. Now we have to wait for the conclusion of the National Audit Office and then decide on further funding of the project," said the speaker of Parliament.

This should serve as a timely reminder for those in Brussels, who allocate money to member states, to keep a closer eye on spending.

The Lithuanian government has now basically agreed to the project of the EU structural funds investment program for 2014-2020, which was submitted to the European Commission for coordination. According to this program, Lithuania will receive 6.7 billion euros over the next seven years.

"These investments will substantially promote increase in the competitiveness of our country and the implementation of several important projects in various areas. The EU financial assistance for 2007-2013 provided Lithuania with the opportunity to implement significant changes to reduce the gap between the old members of the Community and Lithuania; therefore, I am convinced that by effective and meaningful use of the funds of the 2014-2020 program, we will establish ourselves in the EU as a modern and competitive state," said Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius.

Most investment will be allocated to the promotion of sustainable transport infrastructure - 17.6 percent (1.2 billion euros, excluding national funding), promotion of energy efficiency and production and consumption of energy from renewable sources - 14 percent, sustainable use of the environment and natural resources and adjustment to climate change - 12.5 percent, promotion of quality employment and participation in the labor market - 10.9 percent, promotion of research, experimental development and innovation - 10.1 percent, promotion of SMEs - 8 percent.

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