The Minister of Environment and Waters Neno Dimov was booed today (5 February) at an event organised as part of the program of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Chanting “Resignation” and “Neno is a liar”, a group of protesters surprised the delegates of the 21st European Forum on Eco-innovation in Sofia. The two-day event, jointly organized by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Environment and the Ministry of Environment and Water of the Republic of Bulgaria and featuring as its host Neno Dimov, opened today with a focus to examine eco-innovative solutions for improving air quality.
Bravo @zazemiata / FoE Bulgaria, interrupting a high-level environmental conference in Sofia to call for environment minister Neno Dimov to resign over the Pirin national park scandal. #SavePirin pic.twitter.com/2rgFPVb1jv
— Friends of the Earth (@foeeurope) February 5, 2018
While the delegates were registering in the Sofia Tech Park where the vent is held, about 50 citizens gathered in front of the building to protest the Pirin National Park development project. On 28 December the Cabinet took the decision to open construction of tourist facilities in the Pirin national park. This sparked protests in which citizens in many citizens in Bulgarian cities and across Europe participated.
The activists displayed a big poster in English reading “Corruption! Save Pirin” and chanted “Neno Dimov is a disgrace! Resignation and Prison!”. Some of them gave to the delegates in the forum a glass jar of fresh air with the message that the centuries-old forests in Pirin, the source of pure air in the country, should not be harmed.
Although at the entrance Dimov and other representatives of the government avoided a contact with the activists, some of them managed to get inside and raise their slogans just as the official opening of the event was unfolding in the presence of 500 participants.
Speaking in English, the protesters told the foreign guests that Bulgaria has a unique nature and Pirin is a world heritage site, but the minister responsible for ecology participates in a plan for its destruction. The action surprised Dimov at the time he stood up to make his welcome speech.
Dimov is criticised, in Bulgaria but mostly abroad, for statements suggesting he is a climate change denier.
Outrageous: a #climatechange denier is in charge of EU's Environment Council! In the midst of eco-protests taking large proportions in #Bulgaria, we demand, Neno Dimov, #resign! ✊🌱#SavePirin #EU2018BG
— FYEG (@FYEG) January 29, 2018
EU Environment Council Pres for next six months is a climate denier—Neno Dimov, Bulgaria's @MinisterDimov—described global warming as a "fraud… used to scare the people"—history of questioning climate change, sea-level rise, role of human impact https://t.co/cv1H4N3AsI
— Sara Laughter (@GreenAwakening) January 28, 2018