Bulgarian Irrigation Systems Employees Stage Nationwide Protests

Society | March 13, 2014, Thursday // 11:01
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Irrigation Systems Employees Stage Nationwide Protests Disruption of work at Irrigation Systems JSC could lead to the flooding of agricultural lands, as well as towns and villages across Bulgaria, Photo by BGNES

Hundreds of people working for Irrigation Systems are set to begin demonstrations across Bulgaria. 

They are protesting over the lack of payment at the state entity, which is on the brink of declaring bankruptcy, Bulgarian website Dariknews.bg has reported.

Demonstrators are thus joining one of their colleagues, who earlier placed demands of wages and social insurance by starting a hunger strike.

Salaries have been delayed for 4 months due to the huge debt accumulated by Irrigation Systems JSC, amounting to BGN 25 M. 

The company owes some BGN 2 M to Bulgarian power distributors, which have warned of cutting electricity supply.

If Irrigation Systems run out of power, drainage might come to a halt across the country, and this could lead to flooding agricultural land, as well as towns and villages.

The entity is in charge of the drainage of buildings that are key to national security, such as the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant, the access to which could be blocked by torrential rains. 

Irrigation, building and maintenance of dams are also among its functions. 

On Wednesday, Agriculture Minister Dimitar Grekov explained in Parliament that financial trouble at Irrigation Systems JSC has been caused by the state's inability to make payments on additional tasks assigned to the structure.

Part of the debt seems to have been accumulated after Georgi Harizanov, former chief of the entity currently under arrest, intentionally contracted deals harmful to their company leading to losses worth over BGN 0.5 M.

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Tags: irrigation systems, protests, Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant, georgi harizanov

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