Chinese to build bridge in Croatia despite EU objections

Croatia has rejected both appeals filed against the selection in a tender of a Chinese consortium to build the Peljesac Bridge.

The decision was made by a state commission in charge of controlling public procurement procedures.

The commission rejected the appeals of Austria's Strabag and of the Italian-Turkish consortium Astaldi-Ictas , after more than two months spent analyzing the complaints, Zagreb-based daily Vecernji List said.

By rejecting these appeals, the commission removed all obstacle to the contract being signed to build the bridge that will "connect Croatia."

Thus China's Road and Bridge Corporation, which won the tender, will build the Peljesac Bridge along with access roads.

Earlier, Zagreb-based magazine Globus reported that Croatia's choice "surprised many in Brussels (EU), because this would be the first time that a Chinese construction consortium would use the money of the European Union, which would also mean their entrance by the front door, not only as an investor in Europe, but also as a contractor for projects funded by Brussels."

An unnamed diplomat is also quoted as saying that if the Chinese got the job, "the supervision will be drastic - and it isn't ruled out that a part of the money could be withheld in the event of some irregularities."

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