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PM: No Rallies Will Stop Us from Advancing Bulgarian Tourism

PM: No Rallies Will Stop Us from Advancing Bulgarian Tourism: PM: No Rallies Will Stop Us from Advancing Bulgarian Tourism

The Forestry Act is indeed lobbyist, but for the benefit of snowboarders andskiers and all winter sports lovers, according to Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov.

Borisov spoke for the media Thursday from the second largest city of Plovdiv where he officially opened the new sports arena of the Plovdiv University.

He reiterated that the law is lobbying for all those who want to resuscitate Bulgaria’s past glory in the ski sport, and slammed those opposing it as the true lobbyists.

The PM gave as example Austria having 12 000 kilometers of ski tracks in its forests, adding that until now there has been already a savage tree felling in Bulgaria all while winter resorts have been moribund.

“There is no risk in this Act and no reason for alarm. It will trigger an influx of tourists to Bulgaria who will choose it over Germany and Austria. It will also create more jobs and better pay in winter resorts and will attract foreign and local investors,” said he.

Borisov told those protesting against the Act that no rally would hurdle investments in winter tourism in Bulgaria.

When asked why the law was passed after so many debates, delays, and at third reading, the PM explained that he insisted on it because one of the texts had to be changed at the last moment to prevent anyone from being able to illegally acquireski tracks.

On Wednesday, the Bulgarian Parliament passed definitively the controversialForestry Act, allowing construction of ski tracks and lifts without changing the status of the land.

The opposition left-wing Coalition for Bulgaria declared Thursday it was going to notify the European Commission about the amendments to the Forestry Act, ask the President to veto them, and alert the Constitutional Court about direct violations of the supreme law.

The right-wing Union of Democratic Forces, UDF, is also going to approachPresidentRosen Plevneliev, with a request to veto the Act.

Meanwhile, over 2 000 eco activists and their supporters gathered Wednesday evening at the area of Orlov Most (Eagles Bridge) in downtown Sofia to protest the passing of the amendments. The demonstrators blocked traffic on the city’s main thoroughfare “Tsraigradsko Shosse” by sitting on the road. This triggered direct clashes with riot police. The eco activists rallied without a permit since the protestwas organized through the social network Facebook. 12 people were arrested.

A new rally is scheduled for 7:30 pm Thursday.

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Whats your view? Will an expansion to the skiing area in Bansko be a positive development for the region?

The Bansko Municipality has advanced its plans to substantially increase the regions skiing area, following a change to the Bulgarian Forest Act in March. The change to legislation will enable the Municipality to issue construction permits for the development of ski lifts and ski runs in the Pirin National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.This has caused controversy amongst environmental groups as an expansion to the skiing area will result in a 12% reduction to the size of the Pirin National Park and will probably have an adverse effect on the wildlife in the area. Environmental groups have stages protests in Sofia and UNESCO is threatening to declare the Pirin National Park a “World Heritage Site in Danger” unless the Government can guarantee against construction taking place.

Despite the opposition, it seems unlikely that the decision will be overturned, as the expansion has the support of the Prime Minister and the head of the country’s forest agency, on the grounds that it will boost tourism and accelerate the economic development of the region. Residents of Bansko also appear to be in support of the scheme, as a survey found that 80% would vote in favour of the expansion, should a referendum be held.

What are your views on this?

Number of housing property deals in Bulgaria’s capital doubled in January – Bulgarian Properties

The number of transactions on Sofia’s housing market in January 2011 was double that of January 2010, Sofia-based real estate agency Bulgarian Properties said.

According to Polina Stoykova, chief operating officer at the agency, this was the strongest January in terms of residential property deals in Sofia.

Usually, the number of sales at the start of the year is lower, but this is considered a good sign for the real estate market as a whole, because the trend is indicative of Sofia’s entire property market, Stoykova said.

One-bedroom flats at prices of up to 50 000 euro generated the strongest interest in January, followed by two-room apartments at between 75 000 euro and 80 000 euro, as well as luxury flats priced at 120 000 euro to 300 000 euro.

Sofia Housing Market Shows Strong Signs of Recovery

The January 2011 sales of housing properties in Sofia are up two times compared to January 2010, according to data from the real estate agency Bulgarian Properties.

The company’s Operational Director, Polina Stoykova, quoted by the Bulgarian daily “Dnevnik,” says data about deals concluded in January of 2011 shows this has been the strongest first month of the year in terms of sales in several years to pass.

The Director explains the common trend is for the sales to go down in the beginning of the year, adding the numbers are a good sign for the real estate market as a whole.

In January, buyers were mostly interested in one-bedroom apartments with a listing price of up to EUR 50 000; followed by two-bedroom units between EUR 75 000 and EUR 80 000, and by luxury apartments with prices between EUR 120 000 and EUR 300 000.

Considering the average income and the price reduction for housing units, apartments in Sofia are way more affordable compared to 5 years ago, according to Stoykova.

Data from the National Statistics Institute (NSI) shows that housing prices in the capital are at the 2005 level while the average income of 1 employee after inflation deduction is 65% higher compared to the same year.

In 2005, an individual was able to afford with their monthly income about 0.4 square meters of housing in Sofia while in 2010 this number is 0.5 square meters.

For example, a 70 square-meter apartment in 2010 could be paid off in 11 years or 132 monthly salaries. In 2005, these numbers have been 14.5 and 175 respectively; in 2000 – 9 end 107.

The lowest purchasing power was registered in 2008 – 0.3 square meters in 19.5 years or 233 monthly salaries.

Apartment prices in Sofia have fallen by nearly 33%, compared to their peak in 2008, according to NSI data, and 31%, according to Bulgarian Properties data. The reduction, however, is nearing 0 since the second half of 2010, meaning the real estate prices have already hit their bottom.

Stoykova’s forecast is for a continuing strong interest on the part of the buyers in Sofia over the expected relocation, (triggered by better wages), of highly educated people and business people.

RilaDev in final preperations to launch Pirinea furniture packs

Following significant research in Central and Eastern Europe RilaDev has identified a good quality furniture supplier in Bulgaria. RilaDev has been working in conjunction with the supplier to tailor furniture that reflects a international four star standard. In addition to furniture RilaDev will also be including a full inventory of items ensuring apartments are ‘ready to rent’ through our comprehensive pooled rental scheme.

Prices will be available within the next few weeks. http://www.pirinea.co.uk/furniture_packs.html


Welcome to RilaDev’s Blog!

In 2006, RilaDev a English Bulgarian homebuilder embarked on one of the most ambitious hotel and residential project in Bansko, Bulgaria, Pirinea Hotel Spa and Residence.

This blog offers current news and information on the Bulgarian real estate market and economy, local and touristic events and tracks the exciting progress of this emerging market.

This blog will also offer subscribers periodical updates on the Pirinea project, its construction progress and other related information.

For further information please contact

Russell Collins
rcollins@pirinea.co.uk

+44 207 313 8073

Author: Russell Collins - RilaDev

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