Bulgarian Govt Instigates Pro-Forestry Act Rallies - NGO

Environment | June 18, 2012, Monday // 16:28|  views

Regular police are shown just waiting at the side as Bulgarian citizens instigated by the government block the E-79 internaitonal road. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's government has been deliberately organizing rallies in favor of the country's controversial Forestry Act, according to the Green Balkans NGO.

The amendments would allow the construction of ski tracks and lifts without changing the status of the land. The piece of legislation was allegedly passed the law was passed to favor explicitly the ruthless development of protected areas by the likes of notorious businessman Tseko Minev, who has significant holdings in Bulgaria's ski business.

About 500 people from the winter resorts of Bansko and Razlog gathered GERB on Sunday near the town of Simitli to stage a "rally" backing the amendments that were passed last Wednesday and then  vetoed by President Rosen Plevneliev.

Plevneliev's move came after thousands of Bulgarian nature lovers and other citizens opposing the Forestry Act staged protest rallies in Sofia.

The Green Balkans NGO believes that the protests in favor of the legislation are not spontaneous and have been deliberately organized by those in power.

Green Balkans has pointed out that the interests of the citizens living in the "protesting" municipalities would be in no way affected by the presidential veto.

The NGO has criticized claims made by Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov that the environmental protests were "paid" or "are connected with organized crime."

Green Balkans has reminded that the 5000 citizens who took part in the protests against the controversial Forestry Act were not only "environmentalists," but people with a wide range of interests, including active skiers.

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Tags: Forestry Act, Miroslav Naydenov, protest, protesters, riot police, Eagles Bridge, Simitli, e-79, greece, Thessaloniki, environment, tseko minev, National Association of Municipalities, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, sofia, Yordanka Fandakova, Bansko, Razlog, Dobrinishte, Blagoevgrad, GERB, MP, Rosen Plevneliev, veto, constitution


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