Again the disguise of the “environmentalists” was blown off
The political party of the Greens requested the resignation of Neno Dimov, the Minister of Environment and Water in a release on their official website in Internet. The reason for the formation’s dissatisfaction, which is part from the coalition of the alleged non-governmental organizations Let Nature Remain in Bulgaria Coalition, is the decision of the government at its meeting last week. The Council of Ministers approved then the conclusion of concession agreements for the development of two new mines.
The Sofia joint-stock company Prohorovo mining AD has got the right to extract precious metals and ore near the village of Prohorovo, Novа Zagorа in the next 35 years. And for 29 years, Mining Company EOOD will extract lignite coal from the deposits of Aldomirovski Coal Basin, Radulovtsi plot, located on the territory of Municipality of Slivnitsa, District of Sofia.
Both companies are registered at one and the same address and are related to the businessmen Hristo Kovachki and Atanas Tilev, and the two mines will be of huge size and will be among the largest in Bulgaria.
So far there is nothing wrong - no new mines of this scale have been found in Bulgaria for years, and the Greens have something to do with this. When it comes to such an activity, they are always in the front lines of those dissatisfied. By this indicator, they even go ahead of the people in whose locations the mining is planned. But this time, from the small green corner, they keep silence, followed by an inadequate reaction, although part of the gold mining investment fell into areas with rare habitats. At the moment, with the request for the resignation of Minister Neno Dimov, the “ecologists” just yell “Who smudged our pants?“
They are panicked that again all the facts are confirmed, including those proven by Trud newspaper in the course of their investigations of the Greens during the years. The truth about them has been revealed many times. It is quite logical that the “environmentalists” does not like it – they are a cohort disguised behind an ecological cause, which purpose is through fake campaigns to gain access to the authority in order to serve their personal financial interests. The case of the two new concessions again testifies to this truth. And the reaction of the Greens is so absurd that is even laughable. What did their party write after signing of the agreements with the companies related to Hristo Kovachki?
“We, the Greens, are not surprised but deeply concerned about the government’s decision to quietly allow the companies related to him (Kovachki, notes of the author) be awarded concession of new lignite deposits (in the municipality of Slivnitsa) and copper ore (Prohorovo near to Yambol), in partnership with Atanas Tilev, who became known in the 90s as the owner of Agricultural Credit Bank that ended up in bankruptcy”. This is the beginning of the outpouring on their official page, which contains the demand for the resignation of Neno Dimov, because he “kept silent”.
In fact, the Greens in particular demonstrated the silence on the case and now they blame the Government for “tacitly” accepting the concessions. Unfortunately for them, the documentation for all procedures is available on the site of the Ministry of Environment and Water. The documents show that the intentions of opening the two mines have existed for years. For example, for lignite coal mining near Sofia, Mine company EOOD has submitted the investment proposal on 15 July 2009.
The public debates went through; there is no evidence that the Greens have anything against it. The environmental impact assessments of the mines started in 2013 and were approved in 2016. On 20 March 2016 an Environmental Impact Assessment was approved for the mine in Prohorovo and on 25 May 2016 an Environmental impact assessments was approved for the mine near Sofia.10 years have passed since the beginning of all procedures, and two – since their completion. Long before Neno Dimov has become a Minister of the Environment and Water. And long enough for the Greens to play the well-known show - an offensive campaign against the official authority in their co-partner media of the Capital circle, slander in the international press and sites, street protests and even a local referendum against the investment.
This happened with the stretch of the Struma highway through the Kresna Gorge, which the Greens have hindered for years. This year the court finally approved the route, but the “environmentalists” demanded that the European Commission punish the Bulgarian state. But it is exactly in Brussels that they are most interested in the completion of the highway, which is part of the Pan-European Transport Corridor Number 4, linking Germany and Greece.
The “environmentalists” missed their regular practice of massive appeals against the procedures for the two mines. As they did with Bansko ski area, where the concessionaire has won all 58 cases following their appeals. Despite the judgments of the compositions, the Greens continued to push the pressure on this investor, who was one of the few to show that he did not intend to give up.
But the subsidiary of Assarel-Medet, Euromax Services gave up, which, would have revived the poorest region in Bulgaria with its gold mining project in the abandoned mine over Tran. More specifically, the Greens made them refuse as they started a denigrating campaign against the investment. It came to a local referendum before which the activists of the “environmentalists” were visiting the villages and lying the people that not gold but uranium will be extracted from the mines. As a result of this manipulation of the poll, over 90 percent voted against and the investor pulled out. And Tran will remain one of the poorest municipalities in Bulgaria for much longer time. The examples of the projects sabotaged by the Greens are hundreds – a book can be written on them. But with the two new concessions, there is only a green silence, and once everything has ended up a ridiculous reaction aiming to throw dust into the eyes of society. To show how “caring” are the environmentalists. But there are several problems in their mourning about Prohorovo and Slivnitsa. Nino Dimov has nothing to do with the procedures preceding the concessions. He has even not been a minister at that time. He is even not the person submitting the approved proposal - such is Temenuzhka Petkova, the Minister of Energy. And she also complies with the law, because once everything is proper, she can’t say “No” to both the investment intentions. So the Greens did nothing but suggest that the Government should have rejected the projects. But this will only guarantee court cases, that would have been won by the companies and the country - affected with millions.
The Council of Ministers “tacitly” awarded the concessions – it is interesting that a procedure lasting for 10 years could be called this way. There have been public discussions, a meeting of the Supreme Environmental Expert Council at the Ministry of Environment and Water, whereby the “environmentalists” had representatives over the years. But the Supreme Environmental Expert Council has also given its approval. Even if the Greens have been there and have expressed arguments against it, why haven’t they done as they usually do afterwards – appeal before the court?
So many issues to discuss! How come, some people can and another can’t. How could the Greens divide the investors into those against whom they act and others for whom they close their eyes?
There are not many options. One leads to the so-called “green racketeering”. Now everyone knows what does this mean. The “environmentalists” tell the investor: “If you pay us, we leave you alone, if you don’t give the money - we take legal actions on full, your project is delayed for years and you suffer losses”.
The second option leads to the relationship between the “environmentalists” with the investor. The Greens are part of the new project of the Capital circle - the “right-wing” coalition Democratic Bulgaria. The very Coalition Let Nature Remain in Bulgaria has also emerged under the skillful orchestrating of Ivo Prokopiev. The media of the latter have not written a bad word about the two concessions, which they have been paying attention to since 2009. Unlike the investments in the scope of winter tourism, for example. Well, there is no way that your master is ok with something, and you – are against it, right?
And now, fallen into splits between their benefactor and their fake ecological cause, thanks to which they utilize money from Brussels and some ordinary people are still taking their manipulations seriously, the Green shout “Who smudged our pants?” And they become even funnier. But they are actually scared. Because, unlike the previous two Cabinets of Ministers of Boyko Borisov, this one does not comply with their extortion.
This Government finished the Struma highway project and it will finally be completed. The current Management Plan of Pirin National Park has been partially amended, which is a major step in the development of winter tourism throughout the country. Both mining concessions are also important for the economy - they are also approved.
Separately, the “green racketeering” over the business has been limited after some amendments made so that major investment projects can be appealed only at one instance. Thus, private projects, significant for the development of the country will not be banished for years in the courtroom. The Administrative Procedure Code, which allowed charges of BGN 10 to appeal for plans for tens of millions, has also been amended.
This is where the fear of the Greens comes from - at last there is a government that does not comply with them but with the national interests. Bad times come for the Greens and they will more often “smudge their pants”.