Is there a political umbrella over the „green“ suckers of EU money?

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Vultures are hardly aware that environmentalists use them to make money

The Ministry of Environment and Water announced for „Trud“ that almost BGN 210 million of EU funds for biodiversity conservation in Bulgaria have been granted in the programming period 2007 to 2013. A check of the newspaper showed that most of this huge funding has gone into the pockets of the „environmental“ organizations of the Coalition „Let nature remain in Bulgaria“. To date, it is not known that their project has been checked by the Prosecutor’s Office despite the dozens of evidence of abuse that „Trud“ has revealed over the years in its investigations into „environmental“ NGOs.

The state prosecution has begun to actively unraveling of shady deals with the guest houses, where it comes to misappropriation of about BGN 200 million, disbursed under the Operational Program for Rural Development. At the same time, there was no response to the money appropriated by the environmental NGOs under Operational Program „Environment“, where the amount in the Biodiversity sector was almost the same.

The tranquility enjoyed by the „greens“ can be explained by a political umbrella open above them.

As Trud has repeatedly proved, sucked environmental funds from „environmentalists“ do not went for the protection of threatened species in our country, but they are used for political piracy, denigrating our country in foreign media campaigns, lawsuits against key investment projects and fulfillment of personal financial interests.

There is no logical answer to why the prosecutor’s office and the security services have been pretending for more than 10 years that there were no EU fundraising misuses in nature conservation since there were dozens of examples of say at least benefit of the projects implemented by „environmentalists“.

It is precisely under Priority Axis 3 of the OPE 2007-2013: „Preservation and restoration of biodiversity“, the „environmentalists“ from „Let nature remain in Bulgaria“ received funding to outline the borders of the European network of Natura 2000 protected areas. As Trud has repeatedly reported, for this activity „green“ NGOs received BGN 9 million.

Instead of meeting European requirements – each area to be declared protected on the basis of undeniable scientific evidence gathered from field work with exact coordinates and marked GPS routes, „environmentalists“ done all the work from desks at their offices in Sofia.

They used the so-called predictive models, which had no value at all – 34.8% of Bulgaria’s territory was currently within Natura 2000.

The „greens“ used this to stop key investments of regional and national importance by lawsuits. But the most disadvantaged were 1,200,000 private property owners who cannot dispose of the said properties because paper showed that there were protected species on these terrains.

The Prosecutor’s Office has not yet been interested in how in Natura 2000 areas, besides those private lands, were fallen the cemetery near the village of Topola, the tailings pond of a large mining company, the military airport near Balchik and many other terrains that do not meet the criteria for protected areas.

By European money for the preservation of biodiversity, the „ecologists“ have also done the Management Plans of many protected areas in Bulgaria – the National and Natural Parks.

In all these places, they have imposed heavy bans that make it impossible to develop entire regions. Tourism cannot be developed, domestic animals cannot be fed, and farm buildings cannot be built.

The names that are behind the „environmental“ organizations are also known to the prosecution. It is a small family-friendly circle led by the illegitimate chairman of the Association of Parks in Bulgaria Toma Belev and his wife Vesselina Kavrakova – she heads the Bulgarian branch of the compromised worldwide Swiss offshore World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

In March, the US site released a large-scale investigation that proved how WWF mercenaries were killing and raping people in Asia and Africa. Although the organization has been subject to inspections all over the world, it still has seamless access to funds from Brussels and the national budget.

Toma Belev has been trying for politics through the former Green party for more than 10 years. This party was convicted of using the name illegally and recently renamed.

Currently Belev is a candidate for MEP in the list of Democratic Bulgaria – a coalition between „Yes, Bulgaria“ of Hristo Ivanov and DSB of Atanas Atanasov.

This is another attempt for the „environmentalist“ to get to Brussels – he has been trying since 2007, when he collected less than 1%. During National Parliament elections, Toma Belev is a regular candidate but has never managed to collect more than several hundred votes.

This does not prevent Belev and his relatives from proclaiming themselves for citizens who have nothing to do with political life. The reason is simple – as non-governmental organizations they have access to the EU funds through „Let nature remain in Bulgaria“.

So while the Prosecutor’s Office is checking BGN 200 million worth of guest houses, it can finally be interested in the „green“ misappropriations of European money in the area of biodiversity because of which 34.8% of Bulgaria has the status of a protected area.

Zero Benefit: Hollow projects of „environmentalists“

Out of the dozens of millions of projects implemented, there was not one that has proven value for nature.

There are many examples. Here are some of them: „environmentalists“ have appropriated BGN 580,000 for watching wild goats and bears on Vitosha Mountain. Separately, they had a project worth BGN 450,000 for counting three-toed Woodpeckers and Capercaillies. They had access to BGN 4 million for counting hawks and eagles and more money to protect the Pelican populations in Burgas region.

They have made a plan for which they have earned BGN 5.5 million in order to protect the Egyptian Vulture. By a project to protect the eagles from the aerial power lines they have got up to BGN 8 million. They have applied for 1.1 million leva for breeding the rock partridge. They have earned BGN 3 million for the big European vultures and their conservation.


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