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Saturday, July 24, 1999 Published at 15:34 GMT 16:34 UK

World: Europe

European loan for Macedonia

The European Investment Bank has agreed to lend about sixty million dollars to Macedonia to help upgrade some of the Balkan nation's major roads.

The loan deal, which was signed today , is part of the bank's plans to modernise Macedonia's infrastructure. It will be used to build a ring road around the capital, Skopje, and to upgrade an existing route to the Greek port of Thessaloniki. The Macedonian prime minister, Ljubco Georgievski, told a news conference on Saturday that he saw the deal as the real beginning of international plans to rebuild the Balkans after the upheaval of the war in Kosovo.

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