'Loopholes Deliberately Kept in Law' Led to Karadere Affair

Environment | March 24, 2014, Monday // 12:02|  views

While protesters in Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna demand that a project envisaging a tourist resort in Karadere be scrapped, inhabitants of coastal areas are in favour, hoping it will increase prospects fo find a job, Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Law for Investments has loopholes allowing for a project to be approved if this "must" be done.

Former Bulgarian Investment Agency chair Borislav Stefanov made these comments in Bulgarian television channel bTV's morning broadcast.

Stefanov explained that the issuing of certificates to some companies depends on interests, and legal ground could always be found to rush or delay the procedure.

In Stefanov's words, it is only the loopholes than can justify the fact that a construction project in Karadere's protected area was not given green light only 8-9 months ago and now the company in charge of it suddenly meets the conditions.

On Wednesday, Bulgaria's government approved construction works in the Karadere area on the Black Sea coast. The cabinet backed a memorandum with the company Madara Europe, represented in Bulgaria by offshore company Rainbow Malta Limited, according to reports of Sega daily.

The company plans to invest over BGN 100 M in three hotels and three public service areas in the area. Its project is to create 500 jobs in the municipality.

Governmental support for it, however, came before an ecological assessment of the project's environmental impact had been conducted.

Hundreds of protesters in Bulgaria's biggest cities of Sofia, Varna and Plovdiv took part in rallies demanding that the construction project be scrapped on environmental grounds.

At the same time, near the town of Byala, which is located near Karadere, local inhabitants set up a "counter-protest", insisting that new investments in the region will provide jobs in yet another Bulgarian region trying to cope with high unemployment.

Earlier on Sunday, Bulgaria's Economy Minister Dragomir Stoynev made clear that his government backs only investments in Karadere and not the project itself.

He is quoted by Dariknews.bg as saying that he must "fight for every piece of investment - were are poor people, we cannot miss any investment."

Stoynev asserted that his cabinet had only given the project green light so that, if it complies with Bulgarian legislation, it has to be carried out.

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Tags: Karadere, Borislav Stefanov, Stefanov, Bulgarian Investment Agency, Economy Minister, Dragomir Stoynev, Stoynev, Byala


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