Mayor of Flood-Hit Varna Accuses Central Authorities of Inaction
Varna Mayor Ivan Portnih complained that he managed to get help from the central authorities as late as 1 am on Friday after an evening of severe flooding.
Heavy rain hit Bulgaria's Black Sea city of Varna on Thursday. The high waters claimed at least 10 lives, but the death toll may climb further.
In a Friday interview, Portnih, a nominee of center-right party GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria), declared that he had been trying to contact all ministries all night but nobody had picked up the phone.
He insisted that the central authorities had provided no assistance whatsoever on Thursday night.
"Thank God, we managed to achieve good organization on a local level," Portnih stated, as cited by Sega daily.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski rejected the accusations, claiming that Portnih had not tried to contact him.
Oresharski argued on Friday that he had repeatedly tried to get in touch with the Varna Mayor unsuccessfully.
Bulgaria's Prime Minister suggested in a Friday interview that Portnih had been trying to use the situation for political advantage.
"While my ministers were working, he was giving interviews," Oresharski stated, stressing that it was dishonorable behavior on the part of the Mayor of the Black Sea city.
Interior Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev also noted that Portnih had not tried to reach him or the Chief Secretary of the Interior.