The stalling National Stadium project in Vilnius has increased the risk for Lithuania to lose the funding of the European Union, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says.
National stadium site
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

"Clearly there is a very realistic threat for the project and justification is probably in the pipeline to explain why the city's residents will continue seeing a skeleton (…) instead of a national stadium. We can keep on talking about the reasons behind failure to manage various procedures in time in Vilnius, however, the government is not here to explain the reasons behind failures but to find solutions in time and do its job well," Skvernelis said in a press release after meeting with Vilnius City Mayor Remigijus Šimašius.

According to the communique, Lithuania may run out of time to spend the money earmarked by the EU due to the stalling implementation of the project.

"The risk is high to lose the EU reserve money. Without additional infrastructure, the value of the object is 79 million euros, including 34 million euros already reserved," reads the press release issued by the government.

The Cabinet said all contracts of projects financed from EU funds should be signed by the end of 2020.

At the beginning of March, a Vilnius court suspended procedures of the tender of the national stadium after company Vilniaus Nacionalinis Stadionas filed a suit against the decision of the tender commission to reject its bid.

The commission in January decided to continue the negotiations with the only remaining participant – Axis Industries, the engineering products and solutions company operated by Icor concern, and its partners. The offer of Vilniaus Nacionalinis Stadionas was rejected, as the company submitted it in a sealed envelope instead of via a public procurement system, as stated in the tender conditions.

Signing of the concession contract is planned for the third quarter of 2019, while contracts funded by EU money should be signed by the end of 2020 for the money to be paid and spent by September of 2022.

According to information published last August, Vilnius hopes to get 33.6 million euros in EU money for the 88.5-million-euro project.

BNS
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