Bulgaria is gearing up for more visitors from neighbouring countries, having just announced that from Saturday 19 December 2009 travellers from Macedonia and Serbia making short visits to Bulgaria will no longer need to secure a visa in advance. The concession (which also applies to citizens of Montenegro) is only for those with modern passports that include encoded biometric data.
The mayor of Trun, a small Bulgarian town near the border with Serbia, is pleading that the border at Petacinci (near Trun) should now be promptly opened to facilitate cross-border traffic.
Petacinci is one of several villages in the Trun area which are divided by the border. Clearly Trun’s mayor is anxious that his town should not miss out on possible benefits as Serbs cross the border to shop in Bulgaria. Whether Trun is transformed by border traffic only time will tell. But the small town does have another possible trump card. It is in the area where a few weeks ago drilling for gold started in earnest.
Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries