Bulgarian Black Sea Resort of Chernomorets Rejects Name Change
The Bulgarian Black Sea resort of Chernomorets will not change its name to Sveti Nikola (Saint Nicholas), according to the results of a local referendum.
The referendum was unsuccessful due to the low voter turnout.
A total of 788 people went to the polls and there were 770 valid ballots.
The question was on the ballot papers was "Would you like the town of Chernomorets to restore its old name of Sveti Nikola?".
A total of 254 voted in favor of the name change and 516 voted against, according to reports of the Bulgarian National Radio.
In order for the referendum to have been valid, no less than 1191 people should have cast ballots, or as many as the voters in the previous local elections.
In order for the name change to have been approved, the proposal should have been backed by a minimum of 596 votes.
The referendum was organized after a municipal council of over 50 people demanded that the old name of the town of Sveti Nikola be restored.
The Black Sea resort, which is part of the Sozopol Municipality, was known as Sveti Nikola (Saint Nicholas) until 1951.
In a Monday interview for the Bulgarian National Radio, Chernomorets Mayor Dobri Dobrev commented that the people had acted wisely in opposing the motion because sharp turns were to be avoided in times of crisis.
He suggested that a sharp turn like the proposed name change could have resulted in an outflow of tourist against the backdrop of an economic crisis on a European or even a global scale.
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