Poland will not finish two key roads in time

Poland will not complete its north-south highway or another road linking its borders with Germany and Ukraine in time for this year's European Championships, a minister said on Thursday.

Poland, struggling with an antiquated road network for years, has started a large-scale infrastructure building programme ahead of the tournament but the two key highways, A1 and A4, are running behind schedule.

"It gives me no satisfaction to say that we will most likely not be able to drive through the entire A1 and A4 highway for the Euros, as some stretches won't be ready," Poland's Transport Minister Slawomir Nowak told a news confence.

That means Poland will not have a motorway connection to Ukraine for the June-July event it is co-hosting with its Slavic neighbour, the first time either country will have staged the tournament.

"We are doing everything to ensure A2 highway is all done from the German border to Warsaw," Nowak added.

In November Poland opened another 106 kilometres of A2 and is now racing against time to finish an outstanding 90-kilometre stretch to reach Warsaw, as promised by Prime Minister Donald Tusk, himself a keen football fan.

Poland, which has drawn heavily from the European Union's aid funds to finance its road-building programme, expects a million tourists to visit during Euro 2012, though some officials have been less optimistic.


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