Bulgarian Builders Protest at US Training Ground EscalatesBusiness | April 21, 2010, Wednesday // 12:19| views
About 100 people have blocked the major southern Bulgarian road junction known as “Petolachkata” near the US Novo Selo training ground in sign of protest over unpaid money for their construction work. Photo by BGNES
Representatives of Bulgarian construction companies are staging a new protest rally on Wednesday at the US military training ground in Novo Selo over unpaid work wages.
The Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, reports that about 100 people have blocked the nearby major southern Bulgarian road junction known as “Petolachkata.”
The reason behind the escalating protests of the 21 companies are the latest statements coming from the Defense Ministry, which has the jurisdiction of the US training ground, the organizers say.
The companies are still waiting to be paid BGN 3.8 M for construction works they have completed as building contractors. They say the contractor, the German company Bilfinger Berger, owes the money, and demand that the US Army Corps of Engineers, which finances the Novo Selo training ground, execute the necessary control over the carrying out of the contract.
The Defense Ministry's response to the demonstrators had been an advice to file a claim with the court and seek their rights through the judicial system.
The businesses insist the Novo Selo facility is illegal because it does not have a building permit and construction control, and demand its freezing until all necessary paperwork is issued. They now say they have obtained information the paperwork in question has been signed in a hurry by the Ministry after Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, ordered a probe of the legal compliance of the construction works.
BNR reports that traffic in the area is diverted while the rally is to continue Thursday as well.
The Governor of the Sliven Region is on his way and has said he would notify Borisov about the developments while the police warns they will use force if the demonstrators don't lift the blockade.
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