EU puts halt on Polish funds on fraud claims
WARSAW - Agence France-Presse
The Polish Regional Development Minister Bienkowska leaves a EU meet. EPA photoThe European Union has frozen nearly one billion euros in funding for Polish roads, as prosecutors here pressed charges against 11 people suspected of price fixing tenders in road works co-funded by the European Union (EU).
“The European Commission has, as a precaution, interrupted payments until the situation is clarified, the necessary control measures are taken and the extent of the problem is established,” it said in a statement on Jan. 31, adding that the Commission has zero tolerance when it comes to fraud. The EU is demanding the Poles investigate and act to protect themselves and to remedy any damage, including recovering any public funds. “We would like to see these payments resumed as soon as possible and are hopeful this will be the case as the Polish authorities have an excellent record in managing funds well and efficiently,” the Commission statement said.
Polish prosecutors charged ten senior managers from top construction firms and a director of the country’s GDDKiA road agency on suspicion of being involved in a price cartel.