Author: Svilena Velcheva

“Are you a municipal councilor?”, “Do you have a business card?” These were the questions with which citizens who decided to attend today’s meeting of the Municipal Council of Varna were stopped. “Step away from the main entrance” said the police, who stopped the citizens from the information center. “The session is closed to citizens. Haven’t you been notified? There are no cameras inside”, objected porters and security at the main entrance.

The closure of the Municipality’s Plenary Hall was justified by “restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic”. This happened after the restrictions on work were lifted, even for indoor nightclubs, from today.

The Municipal Council of Varna is having a meeting for the first time in three months. It began with political attacks. They even talk about the sale of a women’s clothing store in Varna back in 1997, when Ivan Kostov was in power.

The meeting could be watched live on YouTube, and not as reported on the website of the Municipal Council varnacouncil.bg.

The agenda of the meeting includes renting 47 decares to the beach of Galata to the non-profit association “Galata Eco Park”, established on July 2, 2020. Only a week after its establishment, the mayor of Varna Ivan Portnih sent official letter to the chairman of the Municipal Council of Varna Todor Balabanov with the request of the association for free use of the seaside property.

Translator: Valentina Vagge

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Improving public knowledge about the role of Civil Society Organizations

The project “Improving public knowledge about the role of Civil Society Organizations” shall be implemented with the financial support of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Financial Mechanism. The main goal of the project is to improve citizens’ awareness of the role of non-governmental organizations in society. This material is established with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund of Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. The whole responsibility for the content of the document is held by the Public Environmental Center for Sustainable Development and under no circumstances can this material be considered to reflect the official opinion of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Active Citizens Fund of Bulgaria.