A spectacular nature haven in southwestern Bulgaria, home to twice as many butterfly species as the whole of the UK and protected by EU nature laws, is under threat from an illegal EU-funded motorway from Sofia to Greece.
The Bulgarian Government in October 2017 decided it will carve an international highway through the 16km-long Kresna Gorge, supported by hundreds of millions of EU taxpayer funds – in spite of an EU order to bypass the Gorge.
But how could an EU-funded motorway be built through an area supposedly protected under EU law? And what would it mean for the gorge’s irreplaceable nature, and the local communities that depend on it?
We spoke to Desislava Stoyanova from Za Zemiata/Friends of the Earth Bulgaria and Anelia Stefanova from CEE Bankwatch Network to find out more.