Opposition Calls for Presidential Veto on Forestry Act Amendments

Opposition Calls for Presidential Veto on Forestry Act Amendments

The opposition right Blue Coalition, nationalist Ataka and the socialist Coalition for Bulgaria urged President Rosen Plevneliev to veto the amendments to the Forestry Act adopted on Wednesday.

If Plevneliev does not react, the Coalition for Bulgaria will launch a signature collection to refer the matter to court and will alert the European Commission for unauthorized state aid, state-run Bulgarian News Agency, BTA, cited MP Peter Korumbashev as saying on Thursday.

The amendments, which were approved on Wednesday, allow construction of ski runs, ski tows and other facilities on forestry stock areas without a change in the designated purpose of the area, thus, according to the opposition, making it possible for these areas to appear as forests only on paper.

These areas will be auctioned at tenders and the private investors will pay just for the right to build, granted for a period of up to 30 years, which practically lifts the moratorium on disposition transactions involving forestry stock areas, imposed after a scandal over swaps under the Socialist-led three-party government, BTA added.

On Wednesday and Thursday, protesters against the amendments organized through the Internet social networks blocked rush hour traffic in downtown Sofia.

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