Carlos Contrera, a municipal councilor from VMRO made a statement at the meeting of the Sofia-capital parliament yesterday regarding the future of the lifts of Vitosha mountain.
He summoned Sofia Regional Council to come up with a decision, suggesting the Ministry of Environment and Water to change the current plan, which will allow the replacement of the facilities. Below is the full text of Contrera’s statement:
On behalf of Patriots for Sofia- VMRO and Ataka I would like to express my opinion on one neuralgic issue for our city - Vitosha Mountain and the opening of the mountain which unluckily won’t happen for another year.
In the past few weeks, this topic has been put to the public attention by the Sofia-capital municipality and I am surprised that instead of going forward, we are bogged down in half-truths and mimicry. I am astonished that, after so many years of misery – yes, this is the right word, which describes the state of Vitosha mountain, we focus again on winding wording and concepts, which will not happen.
For example, I understand that the municipality is going to obtain the lifts which are privately owned. The problem is how this is going to happen – are you going to nationalize them, colleagues? Or are you going to buy them? But they are not for sale. Or if they are for sale, who will pay for them, because they will cost millions of EUR.
The next thing - if the facilities are not replaced (you all know this could not happen before the Management Plan of Vitosha is amended), are you going to push the owner to replace them on his expense. Everything you need to do to remain in the history is – to be the people who have dismantled the lifts of Vitosha Mountain for scrapping. I am addressing here all the political parties, colleagues, please wake up!
Some facts now, as I was astonished to realize that there is a concession on Vitosha. No, there is no concession on Vitosha, the lifts have been acquired through translativ deals and they are privately owned. It is well known that the Ministry of Youth and Sports had a working group (regarding the “Zaeka” lift) and the opinion delivered was that it could be restored only upon the amendment of the Management Plan. There has been a representative of the Sofia-municipality. You know just as good that the facilities are old – from the 50s, 60s, 70s. Their replacement with new ones means new fundaments and pillars, there is no way around it. However, this is not allowed by the Management Plan of Vitosha. Why? I’ve called on you several times in this hall – let’s work together and come up with a decision of Sofia Regional Council that we insist on the amendments of the Management Plan of Vitosha in order to replace the facilities with new ones. Up to now, we have only working groups and discussions. I am asking myself now if you are not fallen under the influence of the green lobbyists who will give anything to hinder the tourism in Vitosha mountain.
Dear colleagues, the new plan for Vitosha Mountain, which has been prepared for 4 years, and obstructed due to the procedural device of the Greens - hundreds of letters have been sent- “copy-paste” type, with the same text to the Ministry of Environment and Water, which need to be answered by law. Separately, they will appeal the adoption of the plan in the court, as is the case with the new Plan of Pirin, and I can sign under this statement. The so-called new plan of Vitosha will expire before it is adopted. The right thing is to change the current plan, which forbids the new construction, because if the owner needs to replace a pillar and put on a new modern lift, this is assumed as a new construction within the meaning of Law on Land Planning. All other actions offered are demagogy and patting the ball in a “negligent” manner.
Changing the current plan will enable the replacement of the lifts and the draglines and the destruction of Vitosha Mountain will stop. It will be a test for all of you, who represent citizens of the capital city, to support it publicly. If you don’t do this, you will line up along with the cohorts of the green noisy non-government organizations, that block and suffocate Vitosha Mountain. What a paradox! I repeat again, wake up before you’ve become collaborators in the destruction of the lifts of Vitosha mountain.