Bulgaria's EconMin Speaks Out in Favor of New Ski Tracks in Bansko
Bulgaria's Economy Minister Delyan Dobrev has declared that new ski track developments in the largest Bulgarian mountain resort of Bansko will boost the local economy.
Dobrev has thus spoken in favor of the controversial projects for construction of ski tracks which are widely criticized by environmentalists because they will encroach into the Pirin National Park.
His statement, cited by the press center of the Economy Ministry, comes amidst rallies by Bansko residents demanding permits for new developments which critics say are orchestrated by interested business figures.
Earlier on Tuesday, Bulgaria's Economy Minister Dobrev had talks with Bansko Mayor Georgi Ikonomov to discuss the "demands of the people in the resort for the construction of new facilities and ski tracks", the report says.
Dobrev is said to have received a copy of the draft for modification of the management plan of the Pirin National Park and its justification, which provides for lifting the ban on construction and water supply in some of the protected areas.
The paperwork was tabled on Monday to Environment Minister Nona Karadzhova, and Karadzhova is said to have "assured" Dobrev that it will be considered shortly.
The project for new ski tracks in Bansko will be discussed at a meeting of the so called Supreme Environmental Expert Council, a government and NGO body, before it can be referred to the Bulgarian Cabinet.
After his meeting with Bansko Mayor Ikonomov, Economy Minister Dobrev said he supported the development of tourism, and will present the project for new ski zones in the Pirin Mountain to the government.
Dobrev is tackling the issue with the new ski projects in Bansko and the Pirin Mountain at the order of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov after in December the latter received a petition from the Mayor of Bansko and local residents in favor of new developments.
Residents of Bansko have blocked local roads several times with demands for further ski tracks and resort facilities.
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