Calafat-Vidin Bridge, the New Europe Bridge


The inauguration event was attended by Prime Minister Victor Ponta, his Bulgarian counterpart Plamen Oresharski and European Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn.

The Calafat-Vidin bridge, the second across the Danube to connect Romania and Bulgaria, was inaugurated Friday and the ribbon was cut by the Romanian and Bulgarian constructors who participated in building the cable-stayed bridge, according to Agerpres. On this occasion, Prime Minister Victor Ponta expressed hope that the bridge over the Danube, between Calafat and Vidin, inaugurated on Friday, will prove useful economically and Romania and Bulgaria will soon enter the Schengen space, so that the border points will no longer be needed. ‘I am very happy and very lucky to be here today. In 2000 years three bridges were built in this area. It’s really a historic moment. Sure, this bridge took a lot of time till raised. I am the sixth Romania’s Prime Minister since Mugur Isarescu up to the inauguration of this bridge, a bit too long’, said Victor Ponta, at the opening ceremony. He showed, in the context that in Bulgaria things changed a lot, as well, stressing the need for the authorities in Sofia and Bucharest to work together on projects needed by the two countries.
In his turn, Bulgarian Premier Plamen Oresharski said he was very satisfied with the inauguration of the bridge across the Danube connecting Calafat to Vidin, which took place on Friday, but at the same time he voiced regret for the story of this bridge to be so long. “Bridges have always been symbols of the relations among people. I am very hopeful that this bridge will contribute to the economic development of the region and that this beautiful achievement makes us finish the other infrastructure in the area more quickly”, added Plamen Oresharski.
‘The bridge [will be named] as we discussed in Brussels at the latest European Council with Bulgaria’s President and thought and suggested and it will stay like this: New Europe Bridge,’ Ponta also mentioned, after the inauguration. In the same time, President of the Bulgarian Parliament Mikhail Mikov congratulated all people who contributed to the achievement of the new infrastructure task. ‘Finally this bridge has become real, I am saying this not as President of Parliament, but as a citizen of Vidin. This bridge does not only connect people on the two banks of the Danube, it also connects them to Europe. Due to this bridge, Vidin turns into an important centre of transports,’ added Mikov.
On the other hand, the Romanian government has established the tariffs to be paid for using the Calafat (Romania) – Vidin (Bulgaria) bridge crossing the Danube, according to a decision, published in the Official Gazette. Moreover, the tariffs will be paid by the Romanian companies and individuals in lei and by the foreigners in either lei or euros and it will vary between EUR 6 or RON 27 and EUR 37 or RON 167.
Bridge could compete to be on one of our euro banknotes, Isarescu says
Central bank Governor Mugur Isarescu, who, as Prime Minister signed the agreement for the construction of the Calafat-Vidin Bridge back in 2000, said the bridge could enter the competition to be on one of the euro banknotes. ‘It is a European, robust, efficient bridge that connects two parts of Europe and, since the various euro banknotes do show bridges as symbols of European unity, of communication and solidarity, I believe that this one could compete in that respect’, Isarescu said.

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