Bulgarian PM Lauds Expansion of Ski Areas

Business » TOURISM | February 26, 2012, Sunday // 14:28
Bulgaria: Bulgarian PM Lauds Expansion of Ski Areas From L to R: Sports Minister Svilen Neykov, President, Rosen Plevneliev, the Chairman of the ski Federation, Tseko Minev, and the Mayor of Bansko, Georgi Ikonomov, at the opening ceremony for the starts of the World Cup Alpine skiing for women in Bansko.

Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov vowed to continue to support skiing and winter toursm in Bulgaria Sunday, when he was present at the Alpine Skiing World Cup race in Bansko.

"You can see by the way that people greet us here that they are happy with the way we have fulfilled our commitments to winter sports," bragged Borisov.

Sunday he visited the World Cup race with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev and Minister of Sports Svilen Neykov.

"Bulgaria has given over BGN 5 M for skiing this year - including International Ski Federation races, and children ski schools," said Borisov.

In addition, the Bulgarian PM stressed that Bulgaria needs to expand its winter resorts.

"We have to support the livelihood of people here, to boost tourism to Bulgaria, to ensure quality service for all who come to Bansko and elsewhere, so I hope we can convince environmentalists that an expansion is feasible," said he.

The Bulgarian Parliament has to vote on second reading controversial amendments to the Forestry Act, which will make it much more easier for companies to develop and construct in protected areas.

The bill was rushed through cabinet and parliament after the Vitosha Ski company, which operates facilities in Vitosha near capital Sofia, refused to open the new ski season, on grounds that the state allegedly blocked its investment plans.

Environmentalists have slammed the legislative amendments as pandering to Vitosha Ski and the interests of Tseko Minev, who also has a stake in Bansko company Yulen.

In the past week, a check by Bulgaria's Agency for State Financial Inspection uncovered a number of irregularities in Minev's deals with the state, including awarding contracts without due public procurement procedures.

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Tags: skiing, ski, Boyko Borisov, Forestry Act, environmentalists, Bansko, world cup, tourism, Vitosha, Vitosha Ski, Rosen Plevneliev, Svilen Neykov, tseko minev, Yulen
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