(May 11 2009)
On Sunday, May 10, Serbia's top political and business leaders were in Novi Sad, Serbia, to celebrate the start of work on the Horgoš-Novi Sad highway. The new highway is a part of a larger project to create a pan-European highway called Corridor 10, which will connect Salzburg to Thessalonica.
Two Serbian firms Putevi Beograd and Putevi Užice, have been given six months to complete the stretch of highway 20km-long. For these companies this is RSD 1.5billion work. The original contractor, Austria's Alpine Porr consortium has launched an international arbitration against the Serbian state for the breach of the contract.Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic explained that investing in infrastructure is the best way to create jobs during the economic crisis. He noted that the Government had secured the support of international financial institutions for projects that will bring jobs in construction, metal and the road industry, and will help small and medium size enterprises.President Boris Tadic at the opening ceremony of Corridor 10, expressed his faith that his Government would be the first in recent Serbian history to stay on track and complete the capital projects that it had outlined, planned and initiated. "The EU is not complete without Serbia in it, Serbia is the central country of south east Europe and that is why, if we do not build roads, we lose not only money, but also the credibility and potential for our country's influence in the world," Tadic told journalists. The potential benefit to the Serbian economy, as the president pointed out, is not only improved infrastructure but the creation of 200,000 new jobs for Serbian citizens over the next three years just for the construction of Corridor 10.