Bulgaria is to set up a coordination centre to enhance security for residents and tourists at the country’s Black Sea coastline.
The Interior Ministry has promised an “uncompromising” approach to anyone who breaches the peace and commits crimes.
The situation at Bulgaria’s Black Sea resorts has been in the headlines since a shootout at a beach car which left one man dead and Dimitar “Mityo The Eyes” Zhelyazkov in critical condition for several days at a hospital in Bourgas.
The shootout, the only one of its kind in many years, came on the eve of Bulgaria’s summer tourism season and attracted the attention of foreign media, potentially damaging the country’s tourist attraction prospects, a vital source of revenue for the economy.
Soon after the shooting, police and revenue agents made high-profile checkups along the Black Sea coast in well-known tourist resorts.
On June 18, the Interior Ministry said that at a workshop in Bourgas, the regional directorate of the ministry and the National Revenue Agency had discussed specific measures and ways of coordinating the activities of all institutions.
“We decided to create a common focal point to oversee the process of following up the inspections and general situation in the region,” the statement said.
The plan is for staff of various institutions to work together on a daily basis at the coordination centre, carrying out the envisaged steps.
“We expect good results,” the statement said, saying that the joint approach would strengthen the feeling that the state was doing its work “and residents of the region and tourists can feel safe and know that there is someone to take care of compliance with the rules”.
The ministry said that its experience in working together in the fight against contraband was that “without coordinating the efforts of everyone, we cannot expect good results”.
“So we want to apply at regional level the approach at national level, with a good result,” the ministry said.
The approach to anyone violating public order and committing crimes would be equally uncompromising, the statement. “That is our firm vision in principle and we will follow it.”
The ministry again denied that crime groups had political patronage. “But we shall investigate each individual case where there is doubt about that,” the ministry said.
(Photo: (c) Clive Leviev-Sawyer)