by Staff Writers
Prague (AFP) May 3, 2012
Czech Republic politicians have approved the transfer to Prague of the EU agency in charge of Europe's Galileo geopositioning system, lawmakers said Thursday.
The agency will relocate from Brussels to Prague over the summer, probably by August 1, Transport Minister Pavel Dobes said.
The European satellite system is being built to rival the United States' Global Positioning System and Chinese and Russian projects, though it has been criticised for going over budget.
The system will deploy 18 operational satellites to space and will begin providing the first European GPS services by the end of 2014.
Initially estimated to cost 3.4 billion euros ($4.5 billion), the European Commission said an extra 1.9 billion euros was needed to complete the constellation of satellites, raising its price tag to 5.4 billion euros ($7.1 billion).
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