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E15: Czech Republic seeking seat of Galileo logistics system

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Prague, Aug 19 (CTK) – The Czech Republic, along with Belgium, is shortlisted for the seat of the Galileo navigation system’s logistics centre, which would be built in the Most-Velebudice complex in the Usti Region, north Bohemia, daily E15 writes yesterday.
However, the region and the Transport Ministry have not agreed yet on who would pay the construction of the centre. The European Commission (EC) will cover only the operational costs for 20 years, E15 writes.
The Galileo logistics centre will be the only one in Europe to store reserve parts for the Galileo infrastructure, including parts of satellites, ground aerials and other IT components. The centre will also provide basic assembly works.
Apart from the Usti Region, the Karlovy Vary, Central Bohemia and Moravia Silesia regions were interested in hosting the seat of the Galileo centre.
However, the funding of its possible construction is still unclear.
“I support the effort of the Usti Region providing this does not burden the state budget,” Transport Minister Dan Tok (ANO) told E15.
“The Usti regional assembly has agreed only with the alternative of the state covering the costs,” Regional Office spokeswoman Lucie Dosedelova said.
The EC expects the proposed Czech parameters to be presented by the end of August, the daily writes.
Brussels will probably decide about the location of the Galileo logistics centre in October, and the centre should start operating in 2017.
The construction costs are not known yet, but Tok indicated their level.
“I was very surprised at the information that the preparation of the area for the Galileo logistics centre would cost about 170 million crowns and that I should demand further tens of millions of crowns from the budget reserve. I ask myself whether the project would be reasonable,” Tok said.
Neither the Usti Region nor the Transport Ministry deny the centre’s benefits.
Fifty new jobs would be offered directly in the centre and several dozen jobs in related services. In addition, the centre might attract technological firms to the area.
Since 2012, the Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) EU agency, developing the Galileo system, has been seated in Prague.
($1=24.427 crowns)

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