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Media advisory: Bulgarian action against EBRD's backing for
destructive skiing development

Sofia, Bulgaria -- On May 20 at 3pm, a "Bansko and the Banks" exhibition and concert took place in front of the headquarters of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Sofia. The action was in response to the EBRD funded Bansko Skiing Zone, a controversial project with negative social and environmental impacts.

Bansko skiing zone - a calamity for Bulgarian nature

(Implications and recommendations for EBRD's involvement)
Environment Assosiation
"Za Zemiata /For the Earth/", Bulgaria

full text - 1 349 Kb pdf

The Bulgarian bank First Investment Bank (FIB) is the main sponsor of the Bansko Skiing Zone project. The EBRD is the second largest stakeholder (20%) in FIB [1] and has provided a EUR 13 million loan to FIB [2]. The Bansko Skiing Zone project violates Bulgarian and international environmental legislation, as well as the environmental procedures of the EBRD itself.

Project monitors from CEE Bankwatch are calling for the EBRD to publicly step out of FIB, a move that would demonstrate that spending public funds on projects that do not serve the public interest is unacceptable. The EBRD did announce at its 2004 annual meeting that they planned to disinvest from FIB. However, as of May 2005, the EBRD has still not undertaken concrete actions to disinvest from FIB or taken stronger measures to enhance FIB's accountability.

Friday's event, taking place outside the EBRD's Sofia headquarters on 17 Moskovska Street, is organised by environmental association Za Zemiata (For the Earth), a member of CEE Bankwatch Network, and the "Save Pirin" coalition. A special guest at the event will be the Club of Women Tourists "Planinarka" from the tourist organisation Pirin - Razlog, whose appeal is "Let us preserve Pirin clean for future generations".

For more information:
tel: (+ 359 2) 951 53 18, 851 86 20;

Notes for editors:

1. For more details, see EBRD's site - - do a search for (PSD 3410)

2. For more details, see EBRD's site - - do a search for (PSD 6925)

Pictures from the EBRD action in Sofia
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