The Kaliakra protests: The Bulgarian People vs. The EU

After the protests last week in Balchik, Kavarna and Shabla the PM Boyko Borisov opted for a sit-down with the protesters in Varna. 
During the meeting Borisov suggested a second one - this time in Sofia. Some of the protesters called the meeting "meaningless" in front of the cameras of "Nova TV". The second meeting should be happening tomorrow (08.08.2017).

After Order RD-526 from July 21st 2017 concerning the processing of land and other activities on the premises of the "Kaliakra Complex" , which happens to fall under the protection of Natura 2000 , came in effect - people with property in said complex decided to go out on a protest. They have expressed their dissatisfaction with the way the government treats their property. The cabinet, however, will give compensation of 500 Euro for each hectare that falls under Natura 2000's protection. The vice PM came in possession of a map which indicates the exact location of the protected area. According to this map a great portion of the land is in fact infertile. The only problem there are wind turbines and golf courses. A further piece of valuable information is that fishing remains allowed. Trawling on the other hand will be forbidden. 

It's not unprecedented that Bulgaria has problems with the European Commission because of this particular area. Activity in the vicinity of cape Kaliakra has been forbidden for years. There was a trial. The EU, however, hasn't taken any action ever since. Now Bulgaria faces awful fees for it's lack of cooperation. The penalty tax would cost as much as 22 000 Euro per day until all activity on the complex ceases.  

What are the problems? The supposed 22 000 Euro per day are tax payers' money. This will inevitably lead to an increase in taxes, come 2018. Within the complex there are wind turbines and hotels with golf courses on the premises. This could lead to a conflict with private investors in the area. Compensation for processable land is one thing - compensation for corporate investment, however, is a high bar. 
Protesters seem to be reluctant to accept the compensation they have been offered. This comes as a surprise given the fact that refertilisation of the soil is a huge investment. Because of the protesters' firm standpoint the Minister of environment and waters - Neno Dimov - has undone Order RD-526. 
Further procedures are in the talks. 


Vasil Manev

Vasil Manev is a student in Computer Science and an aspiring columnist, studying in Heidelberg, Germany.

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