Sliven is about to become the next victim of the “green racket”, which discourages investment in Bulgaria worth millions and hinders the development of the country’s economy.
Nearly 13000 people in the town could be left without central heating, after three “environmental” organizations appealed against the new work permit issued to the local Toplofikatsiya company. In this way, “the greens” want to try and stop its operation.
The document is issued by the Executive Environmental Agency, but the Green Policy Institute, the Balkans - Wildlife Association and the Access to Justice for the Earth, have filed a complaint. An investigation carried out by the newspaper Trud has shown that several well-known people stand behind these organizations.
The head of the Green Policy Institute is Petko Kovachev, one of the leaders of the protests allegedly defending the Pirin Mountain. As a Head of the Institute, he also filed complaints against the Capital Waste treatment plant. Kovachev is also a member of the Committee supervising the construction of the Struma Motorway, where he promotes the interests of pseudo-environmental organizations. They are the ones delaying the construction of lot 3.2 of the highway, which must pass through the Kresna Gorge. At the moment the road out there is one of the most dangerous in Bulgaria with dozens of people losing their lives in accidents there each year.
Katerina Rakovska and Andrey Ralev are members of the Board of directors of Balkans - Wildlife Association. Rakovska is the wife of another leader of the protests , Andrey Kovachev. She works at the Bulgarian branch of the Swiss offshore company WWF. Andrey Ralev was the person in charge of the finances of the Green Party, which is de facto one and also the Let the Nature Remain in Bulgaria Coalition. The Balkans - Wildlife Association and WWF-Bulgaria are also members of this group. Ralev was an unsuccessful parliamentary candidate of the Green political party, at the most recent parliamentary elections.
Ivaylo Popov is a member of the management of the third organization, Access to Justice for the Earth, and he was in the lists of the greens at the most recent elections held for the National Assembly, similarl to Ralev. This Association is also part of the Let the Nature remain in Bulgaria coalition, and a picture has been taken of Popov shouting, “Resignation”, at the Forum on Eco-innovation, held in Sofia on 5-6 February. He is supposed to be a protester defending the Pirin Mountain and decided to introduce himself to the guests from all across Europe, during the Forum, but they did not pay him any attention.
The three organizations are all entangled with each other and act under the tested scheme for “green racket”, represented in the complaints. In order to help prevent this practice, the Environmental Protection Act shall be further amended to make the appealing of the environmental impact assessment, for sites of national importance, at one instance of appeal only. The amendments shall also include the sites of paramount municipal importance and the class A investments.