Bulgaria is ready to double the subsidies it offers in order to secure the contract for the new Volkswagen plant, the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes in an exclusive material. “We have found a way to offer the Volkswagen Group 250 to 260 million euros instead of 135 million euros,” former head of state Rosen Plevneliev told F.A.Z. Currently, Plevneliev is chairman of the Automotive Cluster Bulgaria and is actively lobbying for his country.

Bulgaria offers VW a large industrial area outside the capital Sofia, near the airport. The former steelmaking plant belongs to the Bulgarian First Investment Bank and the Austrian real estate company Soravia. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has promised Volkswagen that the country will be “the most loyal partner of the largest car giant in the world”.

The prime minister cited good conditions for German investors and very low taxes. The German carmaker has already set up a Turkish unit in the western city of Manisa in early October, laying the groundwork for its production start in Turkey. However, the controversial decisions of President Recep Erdogan and the resentment against them in Brussels have shaken the company.

“The decision to build a new plant was postponed by the Governing Council,” VW said. ““We’re closely monitoring the situation and are concerned about the current developments,”  they added. Turkey has come under strong international criticism for its military offensive in Syria.