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Oct 18, 2007 13:57 EEST
October 18 (SeeNews) - Albania said on Thursday it will get 54.3 million euro ($77.42 million) this year under the European Union-funded Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) programme.
“The EU financial aid will help Albania meet its obligations under the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA),” the country's European Integration Minister Majlinda Bregu said in a statement.
Albania signed the SAA last June.
The funds will be spent mainly on the improvement of the country's sewerage and water supply systems, and on support for the small and medium-sized enterprises. Part of the money will be allocated to Albania's participation in education programmes such as the popular student exchange schemes Erasmus and Tempus.
IPA is the EU new financial tool for all pre-accession activities. The programme replaced the EU-financed Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation (CARDS) programme in Albania, under which the EU-aspiring western Balkan county received 45.5 million euro last year.
Albania will receive under IPA a total of 219.9 million euro by 2009.
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