SofiaÂ – A delegation from the European Parliament has been visiting a site near Bulgariaâ€™s Rila Mountain national park, where activists claim illegal construction is damaging the environment.
More than 170,000 people have signed a petition against the ongoing illegal construction in the area and the European Union delegation wanted to examine the area first hand.
The delegation is led by the Chairman of the Petitions Committee in the European Union, Martin Libicki.
Environmentalists were satisfied that the Members of the European Parliament could personally see that construction works near the resort of Panichishte continue, despite the fact Bulgaria’s Minister of Environment, Dzhevdet Chakurov has blocked construction plans by the Sapareva Banya municipality, because they encroached into the Rila Mountain National Park.
After hearing a joint declaration by several environmentalist organisations, the delegation assured that they are to call on the European Commission to launch penalties against the Bulgarian government.
Several protests have been staged in Bulgaria in recent years over the illegal construction in protected areas and destruction of the country’s natural environment.
Environmentalists often say only the EU has power to force what they see as a corrupt government to protect Bulgaria’s environment.