Bulgaria Extends Public Debate on Controversial Changes to Tourism Act until March 28
Discussion of draft changes to the Tourism Act will be extended by two weeks to March 28 due to increased public interest, the Bulgarian Tourism Ministry has announced.
Members of the public are invited to send to the ministry their proposals for making the draft changes more precise and avoid further controversy, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday citing an order of Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova.
A proposed ban on tourist camping on the few remaining pristine beaches on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast approved tentatively by parliament earlier this month has drawn fire from eco activists who claim the change will open the way for large-scale construction activity just behind the beach line. Beaches in Bulgaria are property of the state.
The ministry also said that it would will invite eco actvists next week to discuss rules for camping as well as fines for camping outside of designated areas.
All points of contention, on which no consensus can be reached through public debate until March 28, will be dropped from discussion by the government and parliament, according to the statement.
Bulgaria’s President Rosen Plevneliev has said that he will refer the ban on beach camping to the constitutional court. According to Plevneliev, imposing fines of between BGN 1000 and BGN 10,000 (EUR 500-5,000) for camping and parking without taking into account the impact of such activities on the environment is violation both of the Bulgarian Constitution and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
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