Sofia to Host 2 Rallies over Forestry Act Amendments on Wednesday

Environment | June 20, 2012, Wednesday // 08:30|  views

Sofia is gearing up for two rallies of proponents and opponents to a set of amendments to the Forestry Act facilitating construction works. Photo by BGNES

Sofia will host Wednesday two rallies related to a set of vetoed amendments to Bulgaria's Forestry Act.

At 12 noon, representatives of the national civil coalition "Nature for People and Regions", funded by notorious businessman Tseko Minev, who has a large stake in Bulgaria's skiing business, will protest in front of the Parliament Building, calling for an end to "environmental racketeering".

The rally aims to express opposition to the series of protests held last week in Sofia against the newly adopted (and newly vetoed) facilitated regime for construction of ski lifts and ski runs without a change of land use.

At 1 p.m., the group of people demonstrating in favor of the environmental legislation will head for the Council of Ministers Building to hand a message to Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in person.

"We shall state our firm opposition to the veto imposed on the adopted amendments and supplements to the Forestry Act. We invite everyone who is aware of the fact that for eight years on end there was not a single case of investor interest in Bulgarian mountains and forest territories because the legal framework discouraged even the most patient investor," representatives from "Nature for People and Regions" say.

At 6.30 p.m., a second protest organized by skiers and snowboardists will gather in front of the National Palace of Culture (NDK) and head for the Parliament Building.

Fans of winter sports insist that the Yulen and Vitosha Ski companies pursue a discriminatory policy towards skiers that do not belong to their clubs in the major winter resorts in the country.

They accuse the Bulgarian Ski Federation of unfair distribution of funding, which results in certain groups of winter sports fans (like freeride snowboardists) being unable to train or organize competitions in the Vitosha and Pirin mountains.

Following the adoption of the controversial environmental legislation in Parliament on Wednesday last week, environmental activists staged roadblocks at the Orlov Most (Eagles Bridge) junction in downtown Sofia for three days in a row.

The roadblocks led to negotiations with Prime Minister Borisov and a presidential veto.

Talks between the authorities and representatives of environmental NGOs continue.

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Tags: Forestry Act, environmentalists, Orlov Most, protests, tseko minev, winter resorts, ski facilities, construction, veto, Nature for People and Regions


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