‘Sunny Beach’: Bulgarian authorities demolish illegal businesses

Written by on May 14, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on ‘Sunny Beach’: Bulgarian authorities demolish illegal businesses

Just before the start of the important summer season, Bulgarian authorities have begun pulling down illegal businesses in Slanchev Briag, at the Black Sea coast. The resort is also referred to as “Sunny Beach” or “Sonnenstrand”, in German.

When the police showed up with excavators, the first illegal object they removed was the “Bikini Bar”, located right on the beach. Bulgaria’s Minister of Tourism, Nikolina Angelkova, was on site as well.

Some 300 illegal businesses, which do not have valid permits, will be removed, according to Angelkova. The work will continue today.

On Thursday, police had started checking pubs, discotheques and taxi companies in Slanchev Briag. They focused on contracts, work permits and other aspects. The Regional Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior was involved. So were the Burgas Customs, the Labour Inspection, Consumer Protection and other authorities. Unannounced checks of this kind are supposed to continue all summer long.

One of Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Ministers, Valeri Simeonov, had announced “a show in Slanchev Briag”, after pledging to crack down on illegal stalls, tax-dodging schemes and other grey economy practices at the Black Sea.

Before Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007, and to a certain extent also since then, Slanchev Briag was known for businesses which would cheat tourists systematically. In 2002, but also later, change offices would give customers bad exchange rates, while setting up confusing signs, on purpose. Tourists who complained would be threatened, and in some cases beaten, by groups of muscle-packed men.

Slanchev Briag (or ‘Sunny Beach’) is located 35 kilometers to the North of Burgas. The resort’s beach is 5 kilometers long.

Hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists, including Britons, Germans and Russians, spend their holidays at the Bulgarian Black Sea coast every year, in spite of the fact that bathing in the Black Sea itself is considered a health risk by several organisations and NGOs in the six countries surrounding it.

Photo by BNT

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com