Motorists in Bulgaria who park on pavements or in parks, playgrounds and pedestrian zones will face fines of 50 to 200 leva (about 25 to 100 euro), Parliament decided on May 7 in approving the second reading of amendments to the Road Traffic Act.
This means that the maximum fine for parking on pavements has been increased from 20 to 200 leva.
Municipal councils will determine the price for parking in “blue” and “green” paid parking zones, as well as the terms and conditions for payment.
But the revenue will go to the company in charge of parking, and not directly to the municipal budget.
There was a dispute over the wording of the amendments in these clauses, because the previous word “fee” was replaced by “price”.
Stanislav Ivanov, an MP for Parliament’s largest party, centre-right GERB, defended the proposal saying that it was municipal councils that would determine the price of parking and it would be up to them to decide on accepting the business plans and investment plans of companies in charge of paid parking.
Opposition came from the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the nationalist Patriotic Front, arguing that it was normal for street parking to be charged for, “not be traded in”.
Criticism came from socialist MP Taxco Ermenkov, who said that the difference between “fee” and “price” was the difference between a municipal enterprise and a commercial enterprise, “one is serving the citizen and the other is a commercial activity”.
He said that paid parking would become a commercial activity so that a company could make a profit that would remain with the company.