The Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria (FTTUB) firmly retains its position against the concession of Sofia Airport in any form. This time, FTTUB reacted to the announcement made on March 21, 2017 that the Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Christo Alexiev has issued an order terminating the concession procedure.
“We recognize the fact that the Ministry of Transport has taken into account some of our arguments against the concession. We also appreciate the fact that the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rumen Radev shares our concerns related to the potential national security risks arising from a concession of Sofia Airport. However, we did not hear an official government statement that the state would retain its leading role in the management and development of the largest national airport.”
The full text of FTTUB position follows:
ON THE STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS OF 21 MARCH 2017 REGARDING THE CURRENT CONCESSION PROCEDURE FOR SOFIA AIRPORT
With respect to the publicly stated decision of the Minister of Transport, Information technologies and Communications to submit a proposal to the Government for terminating the current procedure for granting concession on Sofia Airport, we express the following opinion:
Once again FTTUB reaffirms their principled and consistent position against any intentions for granting concession of Sofia Airport.
We recognize the fact, that some of our arguments have been taken into account by the MTITC as, for example, our conceptual objection to linking the general development plan of the Bulgarian Railways Company with the revenue from a potential concession of Sofia Airport. We also appreciate the fact that the President shares our concerns related to the potential national security hazards arising from the concession of such a site of strategic importance as Sofia Airport at a time when the threat of terrorism and the unpredictable turns of the local wars in the vicinity are practically daily routines.
However, we did not hear any convincingly expressed intention of the State to defend its own state interests and the security of its citizens by preserving its leading role in the governance and development of its biggest national airport. Nor did we see in MTITC any analysis of the current concession procedure, any estimates or forecasts in terms of socio-economic effects of a potential Sofia Airport concession on its employees and on the social systems.
In light of all said, we hope the Council of Ministers will take a strong and principled position against the concession of Sofia Airport, stating the clear and unshakable priority of national interests over all other considerations.