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Experts says: Poland missing billions for roads ahead of Euro 2012

Poland is nearly $13 billion short of the $47 billion it needs to make the country's derelict road network ready for an influx of football fans for the Euro 2012 playoffs, Polish road construction experts said Monday in Warsaw.

“It may be a flop, because the government thinks we'll build all the roads using EU funding, but this isn't possible,” head of the National Chamber of Road Management (OIGD) Wojciech Malusi told reporters. In all, the European Union has pledged $16 billion for highway construction in Poland to 2013. Aside from the funding shortfall, Malusi also pointed to a wide range of obstacles to road construction in Poland including inadequate management of the national highway grid, legal hurdles as well as a shortage of materials and labor.

According to OIGD calculations, over the next five years Poland needs to build 960 kilometers of highway, 2,738 kilometers of express lanes and nearly 4000 kilometers of national roads to bring up to date its crumbling and dangerous communist-era road infrastructure. Current highway construction does not exceed a few dozen kilometers per year. In April, UEFA chose a joint bid by Poland and Ukraine to host the Euro 2012 football final. (