PM: No Rallies Will Stop Us from Advancing Bulgarian Tourism
The Forestry Act is indeed lobbyist, but for the benefit of snowboarders and skiers and all winter sports lovers, according to Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov.
Borisov spoke for the media Thursday from the second largest city of Plovdiv where he officially opened the new sports arena of the Plovdiv University.
He reiterated that the law is lobbying for all those who want to resuscitate Bulgaria's past glory in the ski sport, and slammed those opposing it as the true lobbyists.
The PM gave as example Austria having 12 000 kilometers of ski tracks in its forests, adding that until now there has been already a savage tree felling in Bulgaria all while winter resorts have been moribund.
"There is no risk in this Act and no reason for alarm. It will trigger an influx of tourists to Bulgaria who will choose it over Germany and Austria. It will also create more jobs and better pay in winter resorts and will attract foreign and local investors," said he.
Borisov told those protesting against the Act that no rally would hurdle investments in winter tourism in Bulgaria.
When asked why the law was passed after so many debates, delays, and at third reading, the PM explained that he insisted on it because one of the texts had to be changed at the last moment to prevent anyone from being able to illegally acquire ski tracks.
On Wednesday, the Bulgarian Parliament passed definitively the controversial Forestry Act, allowing construction of ski tracks and lifts without changing the status of the land.
The opposition left-wing Coalition for Bulgaria declared Thursday it was going to notify the European Commission about the amendments to the Forestry Act, ask the President to veto them, and alert the Constitutional Court about direct violations of the supreme law.
The right-wing Union of Democratic Forces, UDF, is also going to approach President, Rosen Plevneliev, with a request to veto the Act.
Meanwhile, over 2 000 eco activists and their supporters gathered Wednesday evening at the area of Orlov Most (Eagles Bridge) in downtown Sofia to protest the passing of the amendments. The demonstrators blocked traffic on the city's main thoroughfare "Tsraigradsko Shosse" by sitting on the road. This triggered direct clashes with riot police. The eco activists rallied without a permit since the protest was organized through the social network Facebook. 12 people were arrested.
A new rally is scheduled for 7:30 pm Thursday.
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