Timber Exporters in Bulgaria to Stage Protest Against Moratorium Imposition
Over 2,000 people are expected to join the protest to take place Wednesday in front of Bulgarian Parliament. The event is organized by timber exporters in the country.
The announcement was made at a press conference Tuesday.
Timber traders and exporters that have expressed their dissatisfaction with the government-imposed temporary moratorium on exports in the field have warned that if their voices are not heard, they will proceed to other cities across the country.
''Over 100 companies could face bankruptcy over the next three months that will subsequently lead to the firing of additional 8,000 employees,'' said representative of the timber industry Dimitar Nikolov. ''Losses in the sector could reach close to BGN 40 M, out of which BGN 10 M have been planned for salaries.''
In his view, the state budget will lose BGN 29 M - BGN 4 M for local ports, and BGN 6 M for transportation companies. Nikolov added that the decision is a direct contradiction to he EU principle for freedom of movement and goods exchange.
The decision was taken by Bulgarian government as a result of series of signals regarding illegal logging. Timber exporters and traders, however, have largely deemed the move a ''populist'' one, and have warned that it will bring about more losses than gains.
Trader Ognyan Ognyanov stated that instead of imposing a moratorium, the government should provide stimuli for exports, because there currently are 500-600 cubic meters of fallen trees across the country after the heavy rains, snowfalls and winds. He noted that the trees will soon become practically useless and infected by mold.
In his words, Bulgaria does not export timber, but instead assortments that can not be realized on the local market.
Every year, close to 600,000 cubic meters of timber go to Turkey, 300,000 cubic meters travel to Greece and the rest is exported to EU countries.
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