Bulgaria's Summer Season Starts with Angry ProtestsSource: Sofia News Agency (www.novinite.com)
Published Date: 06 Jun 2011
A number of hotel and restaurant owners and suppliers in Bulgaria staged a protest Monday in the largest Bulgarian summer resort - Sunny Beach.
800 people blocked the main road, leading to the Sunny Beach resort, over their discontent with the new rules for access to Sunny Beach, the infrastructure fees they must pay to the shareholder company with the same name.
The blockade was organized by the Union of Private Owners in Sunny Beach.
Currently hotel and restaurant owners pay the same fee for the infrastructure's maintenance to the shareholder company and the Nessebar municipality. For the first time this year, the management of the resort mandated suppliers of food and beverages to pay a fee to have access to hotels and food and drink establishments. Private owners, cited by the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR), say that the fee is illegal.
The road blockade began at 11 am and lasted 20 minutes, during which the demonstrators let one ambulance go through. They were holding signboards reading "The Capital Is Not Hostage of Bureaucrats", "No to Double Taxation" and "Emergency Liquidation of Sunny Beach", among others.
Some Sunny Beach hotel owners complain they fulfilled orders to remove and demolish illegal facilities while the shareholder company is erecting new ones, in violation of the law and without the approval of the Nessebar Town Hall.
Taxi cab drivers are outraged over the BGN 800 asked by the company in order to let them operate in Sunny Beach and imposing uniforms that are "ugly and don't fit".