This week the parliament decided to reallocate European funding from the Struma Motorway project to the building of 32 kilometres of the Europe Motorway. The construction of Europe Motorway (between the 15th and the 48th kilometre) is included as a new project, while the scope of the project for construction of Struma Motorway, Lot 3.2 (i.e. through the Kresna gorge) is reduced. The second stage of the section to Greece is included in the project of the future Transport Connectivity programme, 2021 – 2027. Thanks to a report from the greens Brussels surprised Bulgaria with the news that no European money will be used for Struma’s Lot 3.2 because the route is passing through territories of the Kresna gorge protected by Natura 2000.
The organizations from the coalition For Nature in Bulgaria implemented their greatest sabotage against the construction of the section of Struma Motorway between Krupnik and Kresna. Their scheme included all approaches used by the “ecologists” through the years – false accusations sent to European institutions, misleading of foreign media, manipulation of the public opinion, turning the locals against the motorway project. The campaign of the “greens” against Struma Motorway and Lot 3.2 Krupnik-Kresna in particular was renewed in 2017 when the Bulgarian institutions approved the so-called “eastern variant”. According to the project the motorway heading to Greece would pass through the Kresna gorge, while the existing section of the international road E-79 would be renovated and extended. The route to Sofia would be from the east through the Kresna plateau. In this way the traffic to the gorge would be reduced by at least 50% with a significant drop in the number of accidents. At the moment the route through the Kresna gorge is among the deadliest in Bulgaria. After the eastern variant was selected, the “ecologists” started submitting slandering reports and false accusations to the European Commission.
The other problem with the European funding comes from the company Dicon Group which is in alliance with the greens. As we reported some time ago, all activities concerning Natura 2000 for the past 10 years have been performed by this company. After all failures and the withdrawal of the application for the Struma Motorway, Dicon Group was again contracted to continue the work they had started at the time of the ex-minister of ecology Neno Dimov. In spite of the additional funding for the Kresna zone, the work is still not complete to the benefit of the greens. After the failed amendments to the Biodiversity Act developed by Dicon Group and the Austrian Environmental Agency, the proposal for amendment was unofficially rejected by Brussels. Such an approach has never been used in Europe and the nature of Bulgaria cannot be turned into a classroom for unqualified people.
The use of “open sources” widely proclaimed by Dicon Group cannot replace specialized education, experts comment. According to them a new bomb is about to be set, so it is time to raise the alarm. All suspended infrastructural projects are blocked due to the state of Natura 2000. These are important projects include the water supply and sanitation project in Burgas, the Struma Motorway through the Kresna gorge, the Sofia-Plovdiv railway, the Sofia-Vidin railway, the Sofia-Kyustendil railway. The European Commission has given a deadline until June to fix the aims for the zones. It is unclear when research will be carried out, because the Ministry of Environment and Water does not have information on the state of the zones. Strangely enough the Directorate of the National Service for Nature Protection have decided to give this task to the company Dicon Group which is hiding behind the Austrian Environmental Agency. It must be noted that this is an Austrian commercial association. Are they going to use old data from the Red Book or will they estimate things “visually”? We must remind the reader that the old data were provided by the greens and the imagination of the green octopus Toma Belev.
The failure of the amendments to the Biodiversity Act will probably be followed by another failure. The ludicrous idea for management of the Natura 2000 zones will be applied in another way. Some ordinances will be amended and a mega-directorate will be created at the Ministry of Environment and Water to be headed by the current director of National Service for Nature Protection, experts say. The service will manage the zones through employees at the Regional Inspectorates of Environment and Water. Furthermore, there are rumours that the management plans will be developed by Dicon Group. It is obvious that the company will get more money to do the same thing as before and this will not stop until the Prosecutor’s Office decides to intervene.