Here is a translation of Annie’s letter to Bate Boyko. You can read the original in previous post.
Dear Mr Borisov.
When I was introduced to you at the London Embassy Reception on the 7th February I could hardly have expected to have needed to contact you so soon afterwards.
I am an only child and Bulgarian citizen, living in the United Kingdom since 1980. I have now retired after a long career in the English Education system. (For more information please visit the site: www.cbuxton.dev.golivesolutions.co.uk )
I am writing to you on behalf of my 86 year old mother, Milka Volcanova, who has been registered as disabled (at the highest level) is in need of 24 hour a day care and has been struggling in the grips of a corrupt legal system for the last ten years.
She owns half of a building in the very centre of Burgas – number 4 Vuzrazhdane Street, built by my Grandfather in 1938. The other half of the building is owned by Petrol Holding Company.
In the first instance, Petrol sought consultations with my mother about the possibility of redeveloping the site. But they broke off negotiations without explanation. With their contacts and resources, Petrol clearly felt it would be a lot cheaper for them to present the building as a danger to tenants and public. Without any prior consultation the company bought expertise to produce a report that the building was in imminent danger of collapse. In this way they hoped to scare off my mother’s tenants and so by depriving her of her only income, force her to sell her half to Petrol for stotinki.
Burgas City Council quickly issued a demolition order, in spite of the fact that in the centre of Burgas, there are buildings that have stood empty for years and are in far worse condition.
After many years and further hearings, further expert testimony proved that the house was in no danger of collapse. The Council’s demolition order was revoked. Sadly what was not revoked was the further order that the house was not to be used and that access to outside people should be barred. This order which was linked to the original demolition order is in complete contradiction of all property laws (so my mother’s lawyers have assured her.) It should be noted that no reasons are advanced for this order. It also successfully hampers any attempt my mother may make to carry out necessary repairs.
Burgas Town Council now proposes to cut off electricity and water supplies to the building. How would any owner be able to conduct repairs when water, electricity and access rights are cut off? The aim of this order is clear – it is to leave my mother without any means of support and force her to sell at the lowest possible price.
My mother’s lawyers were amazed at how the Supreme court could reach such a decision – which contradicts all property laws and rights. They are convinced that the order was issued only with the aim of forcing my mother to sell.
However much we have been impressed by the work of Mr Nikolov as Mayor of Burgas, we could not help but notice worrying rumours that the Deputy Mayor of Burgas Town Council, K. Markov has been involved in the same process with other older buildings in the centre of Burgas. Several demolition orders have been questioned in the local press – particularly in the light of links with close friends in the construction business.
Clearly, my mother has no other hope without your intervention, along with an appeal to the European Courts. Please I beg you to look into this case again with a view to suspending the order that prevents my mother from carrying out the necessary repairs which will enable her to pay for her care.
I remain hopeful that your intervention in this case will warm the heart of a former teacher, widow and invalid, who has struggled on her own against powerful odds in a corrupt and inadequate legal system. Also such an intervention will eliminate yet another example of failure which would otherwise damage further the reputation of Bulgaria in Europe.
As the French Ambassador stated recently. Democracy is impossible without an adequate justice system.. The rights of the weak must be publicly defended against the unreasonable rapacity of the powerful.
With the greatest respect
Anna Ivanova Buxton