The National Association of Mayors of Town Halls held its traditional outdoor summer assembly on July 29. This year, in addition to mayors, citizens and associations, Acad. Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov joined the event.
“Everything that we have raised as issues over the years during the councils has been presented to the Prime Minister. From his side, we got assurance that the things we want and desire are very worthy and must happen if we want Bulgari to take a small step, because otherwise it will sink,“, Mayor of Kalofer Rumen Stoyanov commented to a journalist of Iskra.bg.
According to him, all the town halls outside the municipal centres are getting stuck and reasoned as follows: „As mayors of town halls, we do not have the right to participate in national and European programs. We have absolutely no opportunities and we have put everything in the hands of the mayors of municipalities. For their part, they do not care what happens after they give their funds to the secondary contractors of the state budgets of the municipalities. No government official has so far delved into these problems, which we have been trumpeting for several years now – since the National Association of Mayors of Town Halls has existed.“
On this occasion, during the meeting, they asked the Prime Minister to create a Fund with about BGN 10 million, where the mayors can participate directly in it without the municipalities interfering. Stoyanov believes that the Prime Minister liked the idea because Acad. Denkov noted that, in his opinion, the funds in the Fund should be more.
In front of the Prime Minister, the Association commented and proposed the following: „The infrastructure of every single settlement, from which wood and firewood is extracted, is compromised by the large trucks that transport it. Then, figuratively speaking, we are left on the road to fend for ourselves without a single penny. Our desire is in such settlements – a percentage of the profit remains for use.“
The situation in Kalofer is like this – wood is extracted from us, they destroy our infrastructure with their trucks and leave, commented Stoyanov. In his words, Prime Minister Denkov approved the proposal, noting:
„You don’t want that much, just to develop your settlements.“
Dedicating a small amount of funds annually from logging activities will be of great benefit to settlements like ours, the Mayor is adamant, adding:
„Those settlements where there is no wood and no timber is harvested, they have other structures from which a percentage of the profit may remain. For example, the sea – these people are there with the means, with their income, with their resort fees, etc. – some percentage should remain directly in the populated areas, so that the mayors can develop in places. Currently, the country is not organized in this way. We are lied to, we are cheated, and the money is going somewhere.“
The issue of capital expenditure that the state gives to mayors was also raised during the meeting. In this regard, Stoyanov noted that a large number of municipal mayors steal them.
„Not all of them – about 5% of municipal mayors in our country work well and this is visible. There are small towns that, as soon as you visit them, it is obvious that the mayor is quality, good and does not steal. It is also evident in those settlements where there is theft and corruption,“, he said.
„There is a lot of stealing in our municipality and this phenomenon is proven. Our municipal mayor has been convicted of embezzlement, of theft of a particularly large amount and he is still mayor. He has been convicted, he is paying for himself, and unfortunately the structure of our state is such that when you have money you can do what you want – he is paying himself to continue doing the same in the next term,“, Stoyanov noted.