The national council managing the funds raised by the Bulgarian Red Cross to assist people left homeless in the country’s mining town of Pernik after the May 2012 5.8 Richter scale earthquake was scheduled to meet on October 2 to consider bids to build prefabricated houses in the areas most affected by the quake.
Discussions were scheduled to include the question of which of the severely affected families would be given priority in moving into the housing.
Tomislav Donchev, Bulgaria’s minister in charge of the use of EU funds, who has been designated by Prime Minister Boiko Borissov to oversee restoration and repair work in the town, was scheduled to give a briefing on October 2 on progress.
Speaking on October 1 during a visit toBulgaria, the country’s European Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva – who holds the Commission’s International Co-operation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response portfolio – said that the quake-related problems in Pernik should be dealt with before winter sets in.
Bulgaria’s Cabinet agreed on September 19 2012 to allocate a further 1.6 million leva (about 800 000 euro) to assist the recovery of the town.
The May 22 earthquake, epicentred about nine km outside Pernik, damaged an estimated 60 per cent of the houses in the Bulgarian mining town and caused damage of about 20 million leva.
The handling of the town’s recovery has been the subject of protests by some residents who say that the process has been inefficient and unfair.