Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

No money because the Municipality does not know how to get it

Adelina Marini, March 11, 2010

If you've managed to go to work with your car in Bulgaria on Tuesday, than you've probably succeeded to deal with the 40 cm snow and you probably had to park your car somewhere in the Blue zone (in the capital Sofia, there are areas in the city where people can park their cars after paying the Municipality 1 lev per hour (50 euro cents)). Maybe this was not a problem everywhere, but there were parts of the city where the Blue zone remained empty because it was covered with snow and the cars could not benefit from it. However, the greater problem was that even if you could park in the heavy snow, you still owed 1 lev fee per hour.

The City Mobility Centre is responsible for the Blue zone in the Sofia Municipality. But they are not responsible for the cleaning of the parking-lots which actually are filling the Sofia Treasury with money. In reply to euinside, the Centre explained that no matter if it was cleaned from the snow or not, you still owe the parking fee. There was only one place in 3 million Sofia, where the Centre was asked to evacuate the parked cars so as the area to be cleaned from the snow.

Anywhere else, drivers were forced to park in the snow, hoping there would be help later to drag them out or the snow would melt. Of course, there is another option - you could park on a boulevard, which was cleaned, but this would be a violation of the traffic law. So, you have the following other options: 1. You bravely park in the snow, hoping that you have not parked on a place for disabled people and also hoping that you would be able to go out later. 2. You can park on the boulevard, no matter the fact that it is forbidden, relying that the traffic police won't come and fine you. And 3. You park in the Blue zone but do not pay because you disagree paying for something that you do not get - and that is municipal parking lot which costs 1 lev per hour.

There is 4 as well. You can leave your car at home until the snow melts down. But then you see how the local authorities understand cleaning the streets and boulevards with public transport. So, you can choose 5. Take a leave until the final withdrawal of the snow from the city.