The new Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry in the caretaker government, Georgi Kostov, has ordered to keep the office of Strandza Nature Park open, Bivol learned from insider sources.

The press office of the Ministry confirmed that there is a verbal order and a written one is expected, revoking the closure of the office of Strandza Nature Park in the town of Tsarevo.

The office was closed on the order of the Acting Director Park Strandza Petko Nanchev, who took office without a job competition, after the emblematic dismissal by the previous government of Stephen Zlatarev, former director of Strandza Nature Park.

Stefan Zlatarev and Ivan Kamburov, who headed the office in Tsarevo are the main “culprits” for the halt of the construction of the illegal vacation village Golden Pearl, built with the blessing of the former Mayor of Tsarevo, Petko Arnaudov known as the “Liquidator of Strandza.”

Closing the office of Strandza Nature Park practically eliminated its oversight of the most valuable lands along the coast, as the first step for construction on them, according to the General Development Plan prepared by infamous architect Kalin Tiholov. As Bivol revealed, lands stolen through deception by Tiholov and by Yordan Tsonev, Member of the Parliament from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), which largely represents the Turkish minority, are among those intended for construction.

Despite the scandalous revelations and national mobilization to rescue Strandza, the previous “red” (Socialist Party – editor’s note) management of Mayor Arnaudov, and the current Mayor from the centrist Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party (GERB), Georgi Lapchev, are defending the Plan as Matrosov* on the embrasure and insist that the entire coast is turned into a concrete zone, which will personally benefit Tiholov, Tsonev and their families.

In addition, the previous government of Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski appointed Arnaudov as Head of the Forestry in Tsarevo, provoking civil protests in the town last summer. In recent weeks, outrageous felling in the coastal part of the Park has become routine, and huge trucks are transporting the timber to the port of Burgas, from where it is exported on ships.

An Initiative Committee against the closure of the office, which in practice leaves coastal Strandza without oversight, was established in Ahtopol, and is threatening to stage active protests.

Protesters also demand the removal from office of Eng. Petko Nanchev who ordered the closure of the office of Strandza Nature Park, and declined reopening it even after the Initiative Committee offered to pay the rent, and of his deputy Dimitar Gotchev known as a protégé of Petko Arnaudov.

* Alexander Matrosov was a famous Soviet infantry soldier during World War II, symbol of courage and self-sacrifice, according to Soviet propaganda, as in a battle he threw himself onto a German pill-box, blocking the machine-gun with his own chest, to allow his unit to advance – editor’s note.


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