The second “Dunes Gate” ended with a conflict in positions, but institutions are already giving signs of preparing a counterattack. Two Ministries were implicated in lies and the dunes proved to be dunes, and what followed was a directive to the media to stop reporting on the outrage on the sea coast, while the promised legislative changes have been postponed until after the local elections. The Chief of protected areas at the Ministry of Environment and Waters (MEW), Mihail Mihailov, also known as agent “Lipa” from the former Communist secret services (State Security, DS) became the scapegoat to pull wool over the eyes of the public.
The loss of agent “Lipa” was immediately compensated by MEW with the refusal to declare the “Swamp Snowdrop” area on the wild beach “Coral” a protected territory. After two years of delays and silence and despite the expert opinion of one of Bulgaria’s most prominent botanists Chavdar Gusev, at the end the Ministry decided that there is no need to protect this valuable plant. This is the same Ministry that ten years ago just deleted the protected area “Swamp Snowflake” to give green light for construction by a group of swindlers around Burgas Mayor Dimitar Nikolov, who acquired 130 decares of land in the area for pocket change.
However, the counterattack does not stop there. There is an ongoing attempt to lease beach “Coral” for the next five years, meaning to convert it into a copy of the neighboring “Oasis” with beach umbrellas, deckchairs, jets and beefy guys collecting fees and forcing the dissenters to the narrow free zone. Commonplace gangster-style chic beach as “Coral” has never been.
Eco-concession, but not now
In the midst of “Dunes Gate 2”, Regional Development Minister Lilyana Pavlova threw the idea of “eco-concession” of the beaches “Coral” and “Dolphin”. The Ministry had been mulling such a concession, but as documentation was not ready, it could not be done until next year. And this year, it had to find a tenant for the season. Even then the Minister lied, not once, but twice. The order she issued on April 8, 2015 for conducting a sealed bid auction for the lease of “Coral” beach, with a starting bid price 51,077 levs without VAT, is for a period of five years, not one, as she said. The decision for an eco-concession procedure was published in the State Gazette on April 28.
The procedure for the eco-concession, however, was formally concluded in October 2014. All necessary documents were prepared during the term in office of caretaker Minister Ekaterina Zechariah and were expected to be tabled in the Council of Ministers. And this is the second lie of Lilyana Pavlova – dragging things to slow down the eco-concession to the max. If it wasn’t for the scandal with pouring concrete on the camping site “Yug” (South), it might have never seen the light of day. Because the goal is not to preserve the beach, but to allow “our people” to profit from it or for
Thugs to slate money for their political protectors
It is sufficient to see who the candidates are – Sava Choroleev, the person who in 2003, in tandem with Dimitar Nikolov, organized the criminal privatization of 130 decares from “Coral”, after a corrupt political agreement with the “red” (from the Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP – editor’s note) Mayor Petko Arnaudov. The same owns the concession of the largest Bulgarian sea resort Sunny Beach and its largest casino.
His rival is Vladimir Kisiov from ASPI Group that built a huge vacation complex, next to the one of convicted drug lord “Brendo” on “Oasis” and another, just as huge, on “Nestinarka”. Looking at old maps on can see that it was built directly on the dunes. The company also has hotels in Sunny Beach, and previously held the concessions for the beaches “Nestinarka” and “Arapya”. The brothers demonstrate excellent relations with their rival – Choroleev, as seen at the round table on protected areas on the sea coast, organized by MEW at the height of the last “Dunes Gate” scandal.
So far, the concession is on hold, as the tender procedure has been appealed in Court. The Ministry of Regional Development, however, has the will to circumvent the appeal through pre-implementation. The motive is that “Coral” cannot be left unguarded and without tenant. About 83 beaches may be left without a tenant, and just “Coral” cannot. Perhaps because there are the “right” candidates with experience in thug-appropriation of the coastline, with stated construction interests in the region, and most of all with stable political connections in the government.
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