Bulgaria Faces Mounting Rubbish Threat

Bulgaria may be taken to the European Court of Justice over its inadequate waste management Sofia, two years after the European Commission launched an infringement procedure on the issue. 

A decision is expected to be taken on Friday.

Sofia’s failure to improve its waste management infrastructure was one of the six issues on which the European Commission launched infringement procedures against Bulgaria at the end of October 2007, novinite.com reports. Since Bulgaria has failed to address the Commission’s concerns, the body may decide to refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

A trial would last last at least two years. Prime Minister and former Sofia mayor Boyko Borisov has blamed the former Socialist head of government Sergey Stanishev, saying he deliberately sabotaged his attempts to deal with the rubbish problem.

“You know that the infringement procedure was launched a long time ago, but Stanishev sabotaged everything that had to do it with Sofia’s rubbish,” Borisov commented.

“I personally talked to Jose Manuel Barroso (the president of the European Commission) and informed him of the steps the country takes in dealing with this problem. The municipality is transporting baled waste to other towns and the rubbish processing plant is already under construction,” he said.

Plovdiv, Harmanli and Lovech municipalities have agreed to transport tonnes of rubbish collected from the capital to their waste depots.

Finding a solution to Sofia’s ongoing waste problems was a politically sensitive issue in the months before the parliamentary elections this summer. The previous government officially declared a state of emergency in Sofia at the beginning of April over lack of adequate waste removal, citing health and environmental concerns.

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