In the end, Boyko Borisov, posing as Prime Minister of Bulgaria, revealed his true self by blatantly breaking the law once again, this time in his capacity of leading politician. The masquerade of the former crime boss, underworld player and mafia associate ended for good on December 28, 2017. The facade collapsed and the masks fell with the decision of his government to donate one of the wildlife treasures of the human kind to a criminal “bankster” gang connected to the former Communist secret services and corrupting everything around them.

The Pirin Mountain National Park is the largest Bulgarian natural site included in the world heritage list of UNESCO, protecting global wealth from human encroachment. For Borisov, however, these are empty concepts, far behind the greedy and insatiable interests of the oligarchy and the mafia suffocating the Bulgarian economy and appropriating some of the most beautiful mountains, trampling over all Bulgarian and European laws.

On Thursday, December 28, 2017, just days before the start of Bulgaria’s European Council Presidency, the Council of Ministers decided to circumvent the Protected Areas Act and the European Habitats Directive and allow large-scale construction and felling in Pirin. The change in the current National Park Management Plan was adopted without assessing the future impact on the nature and landscape of the mountain, the prospects for diversification and growth of the local economy and the status of the Park as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This happens after a smokescreen public consultation and lack of coverage of its results.

In three of the park’s areas, with a total range of ​​48% of the park, construction becomes an eligible activity. For the tourism area “construction and extension of ski tracks and construction of ski lifts and accompanying technical infrastructure” are explicitly recorded. Until now, this could only be done on an area representing just ​​0.6% of the park. This affects the park’s most precious wealth – centuries-old pine forests.

Therefore, the decision allows activities that are prohibited by the Protected Areas Act, such as the construction of new ski tracks and facilities and water catchments. The law allows the repair of existing sports facilities, but not the construction of new ones. The allowed water catchments are only for drinking purposes, whereas in this case the water catchments are probably planned for artificial snow, which are vital for the ski zone.

The Cabinet also voted a second decision – if there is a real investment intention for a second cabin lift, it should be subject to a procedure for amendment to the Park’s Management Plan and compliance with environmental legislation. This decision assigns to the Minister of Environment and Waters tasks that are part of his already existing duties, which he does not fulfill anyway. It is clear from the decision that the Bansko second cabin lift debate aims to divert and manipulate public opinion, while the decision to change the Management Plan gives a green light for felling centuries-old forests and large-scale construction in Pirin.

The Coalition “For the Nature in Bulgaria” plans to appeal the decision to change the Management Plan of Pirin National Park, initiate infringement proceedings by the European Commission and forthcoming protest actions.

The position of nature conservation organizations in 6 clear points:

  • We do not support the project to amend the Management Plan of Pirin Park, prepared by the Municipality of Bansko;
  • Any change to a management plan is subject to a procedure for assessing the need for an environmental assessment and assessment of Natura 2000 compatibility;
  • We do not support new construction of ski tracks and sports facilities in national parks. This is a violation of the Protected Areas Act;
  • Infrastructure for visitors can be built in national parks only after an environmental assessment and compatibility assessment and a corresponding specific change to the management plan;
  • The decision of the Council of Ministers from December 28 will be appealed in court and we will insist before the EC on two infringement procedures;
  • Construction of a second cabin lift only, without an increase in the ski area with new lifts and tracks, is not financially beneficial.

For years, Bivol has been investigating the criminal network around the concessionaires of Pirin and Vitosha mountains. The corrupt Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office categorically refuses to pay attention and to investigate in essence the irrefutable facts and evidence of criminal activities and the character of the so-called ” “investors” in these ski areas.

Bivol’s position on the Bansko case was accurately and clearly stated and published (here).

The State, on its part, works entirely to the benefit of the mobsters and their business interests. The institution of Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov acts like a division of Cosa Nostra and tramples the laws with impunity, completely in line with the style of our irreplaceable “Prime Minister,” Juncker’s brother, a colleague of Doll and a friend of Merkel. The legitimization of the criminal state power in Bulgaria proved to be particularly suited to the corrupted Brussels’ clerks and their schemes.

(Previous publications by Bivol about Borisov can be found here)

 

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