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Motorway construction: to be continued in PPP

Motorway construction should continue at "blazing speed" because Hungary will otherwise lose its chance of catching up with the European Union, Economics
Minister János Kóka told the press on Wednesday. Kóka was reacting to a Tuesday statement by the opposition's top economics advisor, who urged a slowdown in motorway building to reduce the budget deficit. Motorways will double by the end of next year compared to 2002 and it should be doubled again by 2015, said Kóka. Good quality motorways should be built at low cost and with calculable financing
schemes, he said. Motorway construction can be accelerated if private capital is involved, a method approved by the European Union and used in many Western European countries, he added. Just over Ft 40 bln (around € 160 mln) is available
in next year's budget for motorway construction, Kóka said. This is enough to finance the preparatory phases of construction while the rest will be financed with the involvement of private capital. The government plans to involve around Ft 600 bln (around €2.4 bln) private capital in motorway construction by the end of 2006, the minister added.