Bulgarian Citizens Want Controversial Company Kicked Out of Vitosha Mountain

Society | July 15, 2012, Sunday // 17:44|  views

Architect Dimitar Dimitrov (R) speaking at the "Future for Vitosha" press conference Sunday. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian citizens have requested the cancellation of the 2007 contract between Sofia Municipality and the Vitosha Ski company for the sale of lifts on the Vitosha Mountain.

Sunday a new civil group named "Future for Vitosha" gave its first press-conference at which it presented its demands, calling into question yet again the behavior of Vitosha Ski.

End of 2011, the company closed operation on all lifts, after being refused by the state on environmental grounds to expand operations in the mountains.

In the months following, Vitosha Ski has pushed controversial amendments to Bulgaria's Forestry Act, which greatly liberalize construction in forest areas.

The Forestry Act's passing by Parliament July 13 provoked large-scale protests by outraged citizens, which prompted Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev to veto the legislation, and the Parliament to revise the controversial points, under the pressure of the cabinet of PM Boyko Borisov.

Sunday "Future for Vitosha" activists cast doubts on a meeting between Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova and Vitosha Ski executives over the week, at which the company mysteriously agreed to re-launch its facilities.

"A new development project has been prepared for Vitosha, which would see Vitosha Ski expand facilities," stated architect Dimitar Dimitrov, who chairs the group.

"The Sofia Municipality will be accordingly pressured to revise the regulatory development plan for the mountain, and we fear that some under-the-table agreement to that end has been reached this week," added he.

Dimitrov explained that it was the meeting between local authorities and Vitosha Ski that provoked the creation of the civil group, and brought attention to the fact that the meeting took place behind closed doors.

He also argued that the fact that the company had finally inexplicably agreed to re-service its lifts raises even more the suspicion that something else might have been promised in return.

Dimitrov also joined the position of those who believe that a recent wildfire in a remote area in Vitosha that raged on for 6 days must have been intentionally caused.

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Tags: Vitosha Ski, Vitosha, wildfire, Dimitar Dimitrov, lifts, Rosen Plevneliev, parliament, Forestry Act, Boyko Borisov, sofia, protests


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