Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov is vacationing this year in a lovely cottage built on the dunes of Shabla on the northern Black Sea Coast. The land that is cultivated with grass belongs to the State Hunting Estate (SHE) “Balchik” and the fancy villas have been built for the leisure of “God-blessed” almighty rulers. The construction is probably illegal because it is in a protected area – “Shabla Lake”. Grisha Ganchev’s dunes are located in the immediate vicinity between the lake and the sea. Shortly before Tsatsarov took his “well-deserved” break, the Court of Appeals in Varna returned to Ganchev 84 decares of dunes (see the rule in Bulgarian here).
Vacation Properties for “Protection of Rare Species”
With a decision of the Council of Ministers from 2009, 17 properties with an area of 1,905 decares that make up the protected area “Shabla Lake” and were managed by different departments were assigned to the State Forestry Agency for the needs of SHE “Balchik”.
A year ago, in its article “Poaching Mafia Rampages with Impunity in Dobrudza” Bivol investigated poaching and how it works in SHE “Balchik”.
“The government’s decision stems from the need to ensure competent defense of the natural habitat of rare and endangered species of waterfowl in the complex,” were the motives of the Council of Ministers.
How and which rare species SHE “Balchik” is protecting can be seen from photos and eyewitness accounts. Some cottages have sprung within the protected area, not for birdwatching, but for the recreation of the Prosecutor and his guards and possibly of other persons in the State vested with power.
The Court in Varna – “Dunes are not dunes if they belong to Grisha Ganchev”
Meanwhile, it became clear that on July 15, 2015, the Court of Appeals in Varna has revoked the rule of the lower instance Court to have Grisha Ganchev return to the State 84 decares of dunes. Despite the specialized cadastral maps of the dunes, presented by the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works and carefully concealed from the public, the Court accepted the expert report of Professor P. that dunes are located in only one of the properties. Thus the lands that constitute even visible from space dunes retained their private owner. The Ministry may still appeal with the Supreme Court of Cassations.
It will not be surprising if tomorrow the dunes that are no longer dunes be buried under dirt on the innovative example of SHE “Balchik” and more cottages pop up as vacation places for defendants such as Ganchev, next door to accuser Tsatsarov.
This post is also available in: Bulgarian