Tunnel Referendum Petition Gathers 50 000 Signatures in NW Bulgaria
A petition to build a tunnel under the Petrohan Pass in northwestern Bulgaria has gathered nearly 50 000 signatures, organizers say.
Earlier, residents of northwestern Bulgaria put forward a petition that, in their words, would make impoverished Western Bulgaria better connected to the capital Sofia and more attractive to investors.
Organizers say they will submit the petition to the next Parliament once it has been formed after the March 26 election.
The proposed referendum ranks as a local one. Under the current legislation, an initiative committee has the right to trigger a local poll if it presents the signatures of at least one-twentieth of eligible voters in a given area.
Berkovitsa municipality alone (where the Petrohan Pass is located) as a population of more than 18 563 people.
The Petrohan Pass is part of Pan-European Corridor IV, which connects Dresden in Germany to Thessaloniki and Istanbul and which runs through northwestern Bulgaria, the EU's poorest region.
Currently, the projected price tag is EUR 200 M.
Authorities have already raised the issue of carving a tunnel in the development strategy for Bulgaria's northwest, but no action has been taken so far.
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