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Slovenia might back out of Italy's Expo due to Money shortage


LJUBLJANA, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Slovenia might be forced to withdraw due to money shortage from the 2015 Expo to be hosted by Milan, Italy, between May 1 and October 31, 2015, Slovenian Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

Currently, only one million euros (1.35 million U.S. dollars) were disbursed although five million euros were earmarked for Slovenia's attendance at the universal exposition.

Instead of allocating as planned additional two million euros by the end of 2014, the government froze any additional 2014 budget expenditure last week, Jerneja Lampret, head of Expo 2015 project, was quoted as saying.

Under the requirement of 2015 Expo organizers, participating countries will build their pavilions by the end of 2014.

Slovenia has signed a contract to lease a 1,910 square meters plot located at the centre of the exhibition. It is planning to build a 800 square meters pavilion.

In case necessary funds are not available by the end of the month, Slovenia may be forced to cancel its participation in the 2015 Expo, Lampret said.

More than 140 countries and regions and a significant number of international organizations are expected to attend the Expo. Some 20 million visitors are expected to visit the international exhibition.