“The Government will be spending 2500 billion forints (EUR 7.7bn) on road development until 2025; the two most important goals of the improvements are to ensure that all county capitals are accessible via motorway, and all motorways reach the national border”, Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics said on Thursday in Berettyóújfalu at the official inauguration of the final stretch of the M35 motorway and the first stretch of the M4 motorway.

“The new stretches of motorway give a huge impetus towards the development of the local economy and to industrial development, facilitate the development of tourism and also improve the quality of life of the people living here”, the Minister added.

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Mr. Palkovics cited Debrecen as an example, which has “developed hugely” since the inauguration of the M35 motorway in 2006. “BMW’s decision to construct its first European factory outside Germany in Debrecen was due to a significant extent to the accessibility of the Hajdú-Bihar County capital, the motorway link, and the development of railway lines and the airport, the Minister explained.

He recalled the recent agreement concluded with the City, according to which the Government will be providing 130 billion forints (EUR 400 million) in funding towards infrastructure investment relating to the city’s north-western industrial park, within the framework of which a motorway exit will also be constructed to the development areas.

Mr. Palkovics also pointed out that the stretch of the M35 motorway to Mikepércs was inaugurated a year ago, and the motorway is now fully complete until Berettyóújfalu, as is the first phase of the M4 motorway from Berettyóújfalu to Nagykereki (the border). According to the Minister, the motorway will reach the state border by 2020.

“The M35-M4 is part of the Via Carpathia route linking the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea: thanks to the project, which will be complete by 2021, Hungary will be the first country to construct its part of the Via Carpathia route, which is something we can be proud of”, Mr. Palkovics told the press.

The region’s Member of Parliament István Vitányi (Fidesz) said people living here have been waiting for the motorway for decades, and the new highway will create an opportunity for the advancement and economic growth of the disadvantaged region, as well as assuring safer road transport and a more liveable environment.

“Berettyóújfalu has been placed on the map of Hungary”, the MP said, indicating the significance of the project.

Senator Attila Cseke from the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania said the project was an important message that Hungarians living in Hungary and Romania, and the two countries themselves, have become more closely linked.

CEO of the contracting National Infrastructure Development Company Róbert Nagy told reporters: the two stretches of motorway totalling 23 kilometres were realised using 62 billion forints (EUR 192 million) in European Union funding, and was jointly financed by the Hungarian State.

“A new stretch of motorway of this length was last inaugurated in 2013”, the CEO indicated.

“The new stretches of motorway will be opened to the public on Thursday in the early afternoon”, Mr. Nagy said in reply to a question from MTI.