Finance Minister Fatmir Besimi signed an agreement with the EBRD representative Andi Aranitasi for 110 million EUR in funding for the first stage of the Gostivar – Kicevo highway.

The stage covers the easiest section of the track, north from Kicevo to the village of Bukojcani. Once completed, the highway will replace the current mountainous road that is difficult to use, especially in winter, and will connect the capital Skopje to the main tourist resort city of Ohrid, as well as with Albania.

But the deal is highly controversial, as the Zaev Government announced that this highway, its link to Albania and the highway between Bitola and Prilep, will be built after exclusive negotiations with the American company Bechtel. This raised concerns that the Macedonia will both miss out on possible EU grants for the completion of its East – West Corridor 8, and that the price will be excessive, given the lack of competing offers.