The government set 30 July 2005 as deadline for opening Ilinden border checkpoint at the Bulgarian-Greek border. Deputy Prime Minister Nikolay Vassilev, who chairs the Interministerial Council on Border Control Issues, presented the report on what remains to be done under the project.
The construction of the road to Gotse Delchev – Drama is funded under the PHARE programme – Cross-Border Cooperation – the construction contract accounts for EUR 4 362384, and the supervision contract – for EUR 438 091. The state budget also co-funds the construction works.
The Council of Ministers approved the financial grounds for the funds necessary for the finishing works and the equipment of Ilinden border checkpoint. The Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works needs BGN 750 000 for the finishing construction of the telecommunications system, the water supply system and the electricity network, as well as for the delivery and construction of 4 new points for servicing trucks, cars, an inside fence, state symbols and road signs. BGN 73 000 will be funneled into the veterinary equipment of the checkpoint. The Customs Agency will be allocated BGN 10 000 for instruction and information signs. Finance Minister Milen Velchev made the commitment to allot the necessary funds.
In 2002, under the PHARE programme – Cross-Border Cooperation – Bulgaria and Greece built a road to Gotse Delchev border checkpoint, 12 km long, in the direction of Gotse Delchev-Drama. The funds absorbed under the PHARE programme amount to EUR 8 945 000, and the sum from the state budget is EUR 1 720 000.
The construction of the tunnel is based on Financing Memorandum 2000, the funding being EUR 3 m under the PHARE programme, 1,5 m - within the budget. In November 2004 was issued a certificate for the finishing of the construction works.
Special equipment for Ilinden border checkpoint, estimated at EUR 2 789 727, has so far been provided under the PHARE programme, and given to Border Police, the Customs Agency, National Veterinary Service, the Plant Protection National Service, Road Tolls Agency and others. The equipment has been tested and installed. The Customs Agency will ensure the staff necessary for Ilinden border checkpoint.
On 22 December 1995, the governments of Bulgaria and Greece signed a bilateral agreement on the opening of three new border checkpoints: Kudzhali-Komotini, Gotse Delhev-Drama, and Rudozem-Ksanti.