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Pirin is not a cake- the protests for Pirin continue!

Besides the ceremony marking the start of the Bulgarian presidency of the European Union, 2018 started quite loudly and excitedly for the citizens. The reason for this is the almost two weeks of protests in support of Pirin National Park. The protests, in turn, were provoked by the decision of the Council of Ministers of 28 December last year, which adopted changes permitting construction in the national park.

Up to now, citizens from 11 Bulgarian cities joined more or less in the protest processions, expressing their position on the subject, namely that they do not want much of the National Park to be sacrificed for the sake of interest. And no, the question is clearly not a second lift, as most “big” Bulgarian media present it. Despite the noise of the crowd on the streets of Sofia and the other Bulgarian cities, the government already days in a row is made deaf and dumb on the subject of “Pirin”, and spontaneously and quickly found the means to resolve the police protest. Nothing against the gentlemen of the police, just one and the other, we are citizens of the same state, which obviously has many different tools to measure.

The demands of the protest are to repeal the said decision of 28 December and to resign Nino Dimov, Minister of Environment and Water, who sabotaged the main function of the Ministry of the Environment – to preserve the natural resources of Bulgaria.

What is important to know about this solution:
1. It was taken despite the more than 1,000 written submissions and more than 100,000 letters from citizens from all over the world in defense of Pirin National Park;

2. It violates the Protected Areas Act and the European Habitats Directive;

3. It threatens one of the most valuable natural places in Bulgaria;

4. It gives the green light for the cutting of ancient forests and large-scale construction in Pirin;

5. There is no proposal for a second lift;

6. It is not beneficial to local communities because any development plan adopted on the basis of these amendments will be illegal;

7. It does not solve the problem of the monopoly on the economic activity in the area;

8. It does not solve the problems with the exclusive state property caused by the system violations of the concessionaire of Bansko ski zone;

9. It does not solve the problem of over-construction and low property prices;

10. It creates legal chaos.

The decision of the Council of Ministers weakens the protection of Pirin

Protest in Sliven

and opens the doors for cutting old forests of white and black fir, fir, spruce and white pine aged between 100 and 500 years. In order for these forests to be what they are now – a noe coffin of the species of Europe, they have evolved thousands of years without being devastated by human activity. There can be no compensatory afforestation that would restore the damage from the destruction of Pirin’s nature. Therefore, during the protest in Sofia, affected by air cleanliness problems, jars of pure Pirin air will be symbolically distributed to all rulers with the message that “World without forests is a world without air”.

The unique ecosystems of Pirin and especially the centuries-old forests are home to bears, wolves, wild goats, rare species of owls and woodpeckers, as well as more than 70 endemic plants, of which more than 30 are found there, and thus Pirin has the highest concentration of such species in Bulgaria. Protesters are not against winter tourism and skiing, but they want this to happen in harmony with nature and not to affect the protected areas. Investments in skiing should not focus only on one area.

The development of ski sport goes through the normal functioning of the Aleko Ski Area in Vitosha Nature Park. Vitosha ski, which is a monopolist of the Vitosha facilities, should repair and restore their functioning, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports will repair the “Rabbit”. This is allowed, both from the current management plan of Vitosha Nature Park and from the Forestry Act. This will also ease the flow of tourists to Bansko and the other winter resorts in Bulgaria.

Part of the information is taken from


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