The interview of Zhivko Todorov on Friday, with Sonia Koltuklieva on the air of Bulgarian TV Chanel PIK shook the country – reports 5gmedia.
Mayors from across the country express dissatisfaction with the Ministry of Regional Development and the scams in determining residential buildings for refurbishment. Early on Sunday morning, the Construction Minister, Andrey Tsekov, rushed to the studio of Nova TV to justify himself and shift the blame for the enormous tensions in the country onto the mayors. “The competition for the renovation of residential blocks is significant, and the funds will not be enough for all applicants”, he started explaining himself.
Zhivko Todorov, the mayor of Stara Zagora municipality, commented exclusively to Sonya Koltuklieva: “It is extremely disappointing that our own state, from which we expect order, justice, legality, and adherence to the rules, refuses to reconsider and revise the classification for renovation with the motive that we might lose funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. At the core of everything should be justice, not the justification that the funds need to be absorbed. Because the way the classification for renovation was made is outrageous!
And why is it outrageous?
Because the data submitted in the energy audits themselves have been falsified by some companies, and this is already a public secret. Classification cannot be carried out based on falsified data, favoring certain municipalities. It is striking that entire municipalities are off the map for renovation, or they have shamefully few approved buildings. Why is that?! Because the others who are classified have worked with favored companies that operate with falsified data, and accordingly, all their buildings receive maximum points. This not only impresses me but also my colleagues, the mayors of Ruse, Veliko Tarnovo, Haskovo… many of the mayors I speak with. Against this backdrop, the Minister of Regional Development says, “Well, it’s all settled so we don’t lose the funds, let’s not stir things up now.” Well, how so?! Shouldn’t there be fairness throughout this process…
I state categorically: we will not stop here. We will notify the European Commission, and we are yet to hold meetings with fellow mayors; we will take subsequent steps from here. We cannot allow entire regions to be removed from the refurbishment map based on falsified reports.
A few months ago, in September and October of last year, the miners were camping on the highway. They also did not want the territorial plan to be sent to Brussels. Why? Because they suspected exactly such outrageous practices, speculations, and lies – they said it directly in front of you, on the air of PIK television.
What is currently being offered to the people in the Stara Zagora region? To have their livelihoods destroyed. For what? For 8 buildings that have been approved for renovation. This is not fair at all!
Why did all these people from Stara Zagora who applied for funding bother to pay for inspections? They have paid a considerable sum just to be mocked, and then they talk about everything being fair?! Well, it’s not fair, and everyone knows it very well. And currently, the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works is wondering what to do. The only way out is to approve them all. I don’t see any other option. Because what is being done at the moment is to say: “Well, we know there might be manipulations, but just get over it already!
And it is not true, as Minister Andrey Tsekov stated today on Nova TV, that mayors promised guaranteed renovation. Mayors did not promise anything regarding renovation. Personally, during an election campaign, I have never talked about providing renovation, because I am well aware that this is not a topic that the mayor can solve, as it depends on the state.
If someone made promises, let them say who. But that doesn’t matter; what matters here is fairness and the way in which the blocks to be renovated are approved. Because the surveys in many municipalities have manipulated data, and I can explain to anyone how that happens. When incorrect initial data is provided to worsen the condition of a building, and subsequently the data is inflated after the renovation, what will happen – the scissors will naturally open, and the costs that will be saved are much higher. But this happens with manipulation in the figures! Certain companies in the country have allowed themselves to do this. This is what we want the Ministry of Regional Development to investigate, not to say that there is no time anymore or that we need to absorb the funds. Because we feel wronged – all those who have worked honestly, normally.
And I’ll tell you something else. These surveys in Stara Zagora, for example, were assigned by the individual property owners, by the people themselves. We, as a municipality, did not assign them. How is it possible that suddenly all of them made mistakes, and none of them has been approved, from so many buildings, and they are on the reserve list? It’s normal – some companies have worked correctly, honestly, gave realistic data, while others have played with the data. That’s where the whole manipulation comes from, and it’s well known in the Ministry, I am convinced, and in SEDA, the Sustainable Energy Development Agency. But there is silence on their part and a lack of responsibility. That is the main problem.”
Share this article: