EU Commission Tells Bulgaria to Scrap Woodland Swap Deals
The European Commission has insisted that Bulgaria either reverse some of its controversial land swap deals or demand back "state aid" given to some involved companies.
Brussels says the deals constitute a violation of the EU's competition rules, the Commission said in statement also received by Novinite.
Some 132 pieces of state-owned woodland was exchanged for private plots between 2007 and 2009 at prices that were often below market level.
The affair which took place during the term of the so-called "Three-Way Coalition" (BSP-DPS-NDSV), opened the floodgates of a huge scandal back in 2009 when it was revealed
On Friday the Commission announced the "administrative prices" set for the deals were incompatible with the bloc's rules on state aid. Competition was breached by the government's selective approach to companies, as it gave an edge to certain entities.
No fines will be imposed on Bulgaria.
It is not yet clear how many of the 132 deals will have to be annulled or are to see subsidies returned to the state.
Subsidies up to EUR 200 000 M will not have to be reimbursed.
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