Bulgarian President Roumen Radev said on June 24 that he has vetoed amendments to the Black Sea Act that ban tents, as well as vehicles including campers and caravans, from the country’s Black Sea dunes.
The bill, passed by Parliament earlier this month, introduced a legal possibility to create, outside areas of the sea beaches and official campsites, areas where the temporary placement of tents, campers and caravans is permitted.
The amendments, criticised by the opposition socialists, envisage a fine of 1000 leva (about 500 euro) for putting a tent on a dune, and 3000 leva in the case of an individual, and 5000 leva in the case of a company, for a caravan.
The amendments were also sharply criticised by Bulgarian environmental conservation organisations, for a failure to define properly the dunes to be covered by the ban, and for a failure to legislate against construction on dunes. The organisations have said that they are considering protests and calling for a presidential veto.
In his veto motives, Radev said that he did not object to the goal of “introducing rules, normatives and standards, as explicitly mandated by the constitution,” but argued that the restrictions put in place by the amended law were too harsh.
“If all owners of caravans, campers or camping enthusiasts go to the existing authorised camping sites on the coast because they want to spend their holiday at the Bulgarian seaside in such a manner, will there be space for all? Was the capacity of authorised camping sites surveyed? Without answers to these questions, it cannot be accepted that the new restrictive rules are proportional,” Radev said.
This is the 16th time that Radev exercised his veto power since taking office in January 2017, with Parliament overturning the veto in all but one case, when the provision in question was withdrawn.
On several occasions, he followed through with a Constitutional Court challenge, where has been more successful in blocking legislation, such as in April, when the court ruled to overturn a provision from Corporate Tax Act amendments passed last year that introduced a higher tax rate on properties in resort areas.
(Archive photo: Fred Green/freeimages.com)