Bulgaria PM Has 'No Fear' from Plovdiv Mayor over Trash Deal
The Mayor of Bulgaria’s Plovdiv, Slavcho Atanasov, has threatened the government that he might ban the storage of waste from the capital Sofia at a local depot.
The deal for the storage of household waste from Sofia at the Tsalapitsa Depot near Plovdiv was worked out in 2009 as a way to relieve the garbage crisis in the capital until the Sofia waste processing plant is completed (expected in 2011-2012).
As part of the trash deal, the Plovdiv Municipality is getting additional transfer from the state budget.
On Tuesday, however, the Plovdiv Mayor sent a letter to the Finance Minister saying the state owned his municipality about BGN 7 M, which have not been paid in time.
“I am sending this letter because I think that both sides must fulfill their commitments. I rely on the honest relations between the institutions but if I do not receive a positive reply within 2 weeks, I am going to send a second letter, and it will contain an ultimatum,” says Slavcho Atanasov practically threatening to shut the Tsalapitsa Depot for garbage transported from the capital.
“Atanasov has got not legal way and justification to stop the transport of baled garbage from Sofia. And he is in no position to issue ultimatums,” said the Plovdiv District Governor Ivan Totev as cited by BGNES.
He added the deal between the state and the Plovdiv Municipality contained no fixed deadlines, and that the government had never said it would default on its obligations of providing the specified sums.
The District Governor described the policies that Mayor Atanasov is conducting as “detrimental to the Plovdiv Municipality.”
“Let’s not scare each other off like that because the Mayor of Plovdiv is the last man on earth that I am afraid of,” declared the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov on Tuesday during the ground-breaking of the construction of the Bulgarian Louvre in Sofia.
“What if the Mayor of the town of Rakovski refuses to take the garbage from Plovdiv,” asked the Prime Minister rhetorically.
The Plovdiv Mayor Slavcho Atanasov is from the nationalist party VMRO. He was elected in 2007 largely thanks to the support of the GERB party of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. However, the relations between Atanasov and GERB have subsequently grown more tense.
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