The categorical view of the party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), which won the snap elections on October 5, and the local authorities in Burgas is that all illegal villas and multi-story houses of people, who subsequently became unlawful resident in the Burgas’ Chengene Scale district, should be removed, as Bulgarian legislation postulates. This is stated in a declaration of GERB Burgas, sent to the media.

The text is obviously a reaction to the publication of Bivol which revealed that the demolition of illegal buildings was postponed over the election campaign visit of GERB leader Boyko Borisov in the fishermen village Chengene Scale near Burgas. According to the order of the State National Construction Control (SNCC), which Bivol has, on September 10, 2014, the company “POMA GROUP Burgas” had to destroy one building. At the last moment, however, a verbal order was sent from SNCC to stop the demolition. The Construction Control justified the postponement with the recent flooding in the area. Contacted for comment, the company manager Atanas Popov admitted that the consequences of the flooding were not an obstacle to the demolition.

Rule of Law Has No Alternative, Says GERB

“The main outstanding problem in the area in recent decades is the illegally constructed houses and buildings. This is due to the inaction of State and local institutions in the past, which created conditions for the illegal use of State land and erecting buildings on it without the necessary construction validations and authorizations,” says GERB’s position.

As Bivol wrote, there isn’t a single legal building in Chengene Scale. The strict application of the law in this case means the destruction of all buildings. But so far, the villas of influential national and local feudal lords are surviving, while just fishermen huts are being destroyed.

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Legalizing the Status of Burgas Fishermen Has No Alternative

“The Burgas municipality has filed with the government a proposal to appraise the 45 decares, on which the fishing houses are located, by independent appraisers. Then the fishermen should be offered the opportunity to purchase the land plots on which they have built their base. Only members of the fishing association, who currently have property on the land that has a status of State forest, will benefit from this option.”

This position, however, does not clarify the fate of the three houses donated by GERB, for which the municipality has issued permits to be built on land appropriated from the forest fund.

“The ultimate goal is to have Chengene Scale recognized as an intangible cultural heritage site – conservation of crafts under the Cultural Heritage Act. This will maintain and develop the livelihood of the fishermen,” GERB further explain in their declaration.

 

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