Pavel Marinov, Regional Governor of Burgas, ignored the request of the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Waters to force the company “Venice Marina” and its tour boats to vacate the natural reserve Ropotamo after they illegally entered it earlier in April, as Bivol wrote. Meanwhile, the company, which is owned by people from the former powerful organized crime group VIS and is associated with drug lord Hristoforos Amanatidis AKA Taki, began business operations in complete violation of all laws.
Last year, the same company caused a scandal for illegally building a restaurant and pouring concrete in the reserve. The company was patronized by the former head of the Burgas Regional Inspectorate for Environment and Waters, Boycho Georgiev – one of the masterminds behind the affair known as “Dunes Gate” and a prominent activist of the formerly-ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria arty, GERB. After a questionable procedure, including a manipulated website of the Directorate, Georgiev sealed two contracts with them – for restaurants in the harbor and for boat tours on the river. Immediately after entering the reserve, the individuals from VIS began to pour concrete; to erect illegal buildings and to pedal their boats in the protected area.
The publication of Bivol then forced institutions to react; to close the illegal sites and to terminate the contract for the restaurant. Violations were irrefutably established by all institutions: the Municipality of Primorsko, the Regional Directorate for National Construction Control, the Ministry of Environment and Waters. The authorities wrote citations and filed court cases, which “Venice” lost. Later, the service contract for boat tours on the river was canceled and the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Waters opened a new procedure for the concession, for which “Venice Marina” purchased documents.
The Head of the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Waters in Burgas, Antoniy Ivanov, confirmed before Bivol that “Venice Marina” has no regular contract and no legal grounds to remain in the Ropotamo reserve. In turn, people from “Venice Marina” claim that they have filed a case in court against the termination of the boat tours contract. They emphasize a rule at first instance (Burgas District Court) – that the contract with Boycho Georgiev is valid.
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However, there is a definition of the Burgas Administrative Court that the procedure carried out by Boycho Georgiev is manipulated and illegal. This means that any subsequent action is illegal (including both contracts).
Appeals are ongoing, but it is certain that until the conclusion of the case and a final court ruling, “Venice Marina” have no right to be in the reserve without a valid contract and to carry out any activity there. Moreover, by taking part in the new concession procedure, conducted in April, the very same “Venice” implicitly admits that their contract for the boats is terminated.
Meanwhile, the mutras illegally raided the reserve with their boats. Security guards of the reserve have called the police from the nearby town of Primorsko. “It is not our job to protect the reserve,” said the head of the Police Department in Primorsko, Galin Sgurov. The Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Waters wrote citations for the 5 boats for illegally entering the reserve which is state property – all to no avail. Then, it sent official letters for voluntary vacating of the premises – also to no avail. As a last resort, the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Waters wrote a letter to Governor Pavel Marinov (see our publications about him) – again to no avail. Thus, the state represented by the regional administration and the Interior Ministry, is stalling and allows the indiscriminate and brazen breaches of any and all laws.
The order for voluntary vacating the reserve, issued by the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Waters that “Venice” refuses to comply with.
Letter of the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Waters to the Governor of Burgas from April 23.2014, which still remains without any follow-up.
As result of all this unprecedented cynicism, instead of leaving the reserve, “Venice” began taking tourists on boat tours in it! Completely illegal and criminal activities are taking place in the national reserve, which is exclusive state property, as all institutions remain criminally inactive.
Comment of the “Raging Bivol”
The conclusion that can be drawn from this case is that the state is in the hands of criminals who brazenly violate and refuse to honor the rule of law before the very eyes of the entire society in Bulgaria. Why is the Ministry of Environment and Waters not intervening? Where is the Minister? What would happen in case of an accident, if a boat capsizes and people are harmed by this criminal business conducted in the state reserve? How can such activity be accounted for before the National Revenue Agency when it is not based on any recognized contract? What happens if there is pollution and destruction of ecological wealth? Who is altogether responsible for what is taking place in the reserve; for preserving this national treasure? Are the Protection of Territory Act, regulations of the Ministry of Environment and Waters, the Bio Diversity Act, etc. observed?
Isn’t the Burgas Regional Governor an associate of gangsters and, in general, WHO represents the Bulgarian state at the moment? Do we have a state after all, or is it privately used for criminal interests? Are we going to tolerate such blatant violation of all laws and regulations and what will happen to our society if we allow this demonstration of arbitrariness with national wealth and breaches of Bulgarian legislation!?
How is it possible for an EU country to allow such practices of obvious mafia takeover? Because of this and other examples, Bulgaria can justly be described as the “Reserve of the Mutras” in the EU! There has been no such precedent ever, even in the darkest years of mutras breaking loose. Today, however, the evidence that we are ruled by thugs and mobsters actually has a name and it is ROPOTAMO.
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