Bulgarian Cabinet ministers disagree over fate of ‘illegal’ restaurants and clubs at Sunny Beach

Bulgarian Cabinet ministers are at odds over the future of five restaurants and bars on the south beach of the popular Sunny Beach resort, which Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov wants demolished, alleging them to be illegal.

Early summer 2018 again sees Simeonov on the warpath at Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast against Sunny Beach places of entertainment. He made headlines in the Bulgarian media in 2017 with his campaign against excessive noise at bars, restaurants and discos at the resort.

As in 2017, Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova, of Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s GERB party, is in disagreement with Simeonov, a co-leader of the United Patriots, the grouping of far-right and ultra-nationalist parties that is the minority partner in government.

Simeonov said in recent days that five bars and restaurants at Sunny Beach – among them well-known entertainment spots such as Cacao Beach and Bedroom Beach Club – were “absolutely illegal”.

No construction permit or any other documentation required by law had been issued for them, Simeonov said.

He asked what would happen if one “fell down”, leaving people killed or injured.

On June 5, Tourism Minister Angelkova said that all the places of entertainment in Sunny Beach, including the five restaurants on the South Beach, were covered by temporary permission approved by her ministry.

This had been established in a check she had ordered into whether the requirements of the Black Sea Coast Act were met.

Angelkova said that the places in Sunny Beach had been checked, as was done every year, and had been found to be covered by the plan approved by her. “They have been there for more than 10 years and have not changed their parameters,” she said.

She said that in 2017, several inspections had been carried out of the establishments before the summer season. The Regional Construction Supervision Directorate in Bourgas had said that the beachfront restaurants in Sunny Beach met the legal requirements.

The holder of the concession for South Beach, Kiril Spassov, told Nova Televizia that the scheme had been approved by the municipality. The establishments dated back several years and for each, there was permission from the municipality’s Chief Architect – the equivalent of a town planner.

On the excessive noise issue – which in 2017 saw Simeonov personally lead raids in pubs and discos – Angelkova said that such check-ups should be done in a way as to not interfere with the holidays of tourists. She said that check-ups of such establishments were in the hands of the municipal administration.

As a sidelight amid the disagreement, there was amusement among Bulgarians online over a tweet by Simeonov, in which he rendered Cacao Beach’s name in Bulgarian as “Цацао Беацх” – which, if transliterated into Latin script, would read “Tsatsao Beatsh”.

(Photo: cacaobeach.bg)



The Sofia Globe staff

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