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. Sofia mayor in 'garbage war' with Bulgaria PM

by Staff Writers
Sofia (AFP) April 13, 2009
Sofia's right-wing mayor Boiko Borisov entered a "garbage war" with his arch foe, Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev, on Monday, ahead of European and national elections this summer.

Stanishev's Socialist government said last week that recent problems with garbage collection in Sofia posed a threat to people's health and declared a state of crisis in the city of two million people.

But the municipal council urged the government Monday to lift the special measures, threatening to otherwise take the case to the Supreme Administrative Council.

"A war is a war," Borisov commented ahead of the municipal council session, describing as "pre-election nonsense" Stanishev's idea to set up a special crisis staff to seek a "sustainable solution" to the capital's waste collection troubles.

Sofia's wastebins and garbage containers overflowed for several weeks in March after Borisov cancelled an agreement with one of the main waste-collecting companies.

But the municipality has since picked new collectors and the problem has eased substantially.

Borisov's down-to-earth language and firebrand character have made the former bodyguard and interior ministry chief of staff Bulgaria's most popular politician.

Polls suggest that his right-wing GERB party, the chief rival to Stanichev's left-wing Socialists, will win European elections in June and a general election in July.

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Bulgarian PM sets up emergency rubbish cell
Sofia (AFP) April 9, 2009
Bulgaria's Prime Minister Sergei Stanichev on Thursday established a crisis headquarters to organise the collection of rubbish in the garbage-strewn capital Sofia in a sustainable manner.

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