16 January 2019
Bulgaria’s Supreme Court has overturned a government decision that would have allowed the building of an extension of a ski resort infrastructure in a protected area of the Pirin National park. The Bulgarian Green Party, Zelenite, helped mobilise mass protests against the government project and see this as a big victory. The Court ruled that only repairs would be permitted but not the construction of entirely new sports facilities.
Responding to the news, the co-chair of the Bulgarian Green Party, Zelenite, Borislav Sandov said:
“We are delighted that the court has ruled in favour of protecting our precious environment rather than the economic interests of a privileged few. It also renews faith in the rule of law in Bulgaria to work in the best interests of the people. As Greens, we will continue to do everything in our power to make sure that our natural heritage is protected.”
Ska Keller, the Green/EFA Group co-president and the co-leading candidate of the European Greens added:
“We congratulate the Bulgarian Greens, Zelenite, and the thousands of protestors who turned out across Bulgaria and in parts of Europe against the building of unnecessary skiing infrastructure in one of Europe’s protected areas. We are not prepared to sit back and let the authorities plough ahead with plans to put concrete over a very important biodiversity reserve. We hope this ruling sets a new precedent in Bulgaria and Europe for stricter controls in protected areas. It’s time we claimed our natural spaces back for the people rather than vested business interests."
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