Sofia, August 8, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Clive Leviev-Sawyer of The Sofia Globe
Bulgaria’s President and its Prime Minister have sent condolences to their counterparts in Skopje after the catastrophic weather this past weekend that left 22 people dead, dozens injured and that caused widespread damage.
In a message to his counterpart Gjorge Ivanov, Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev said that he had received the news of the floods in Skopje with deep sorrow.
Tragedies of this kind “remind us how important it is to be united in difficult times,” Plevneliev said in his cable to Ivanov.
In recent years, the Bulgarian people had also felt the wrath of nature and in these difficult days for its neighbouring country and friend, Bulgarians empathised with the anguish after the disaster that had befallen FYROM, Plevneliev said.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov expressed his sincere condolences, “I express our pain for lost lives and our commitment to the Macedonian people in this difficult situation,” Borissov said.
He said that he had ordered the relevant Bulgarian authorities to immediately start talks with the administration of FYROM to clarify how Bulgaria could provide assistance to remedy the situation in the neighbouring country as quickly as possible and to help the victims.
The chief of staff of the Prime Minister’s office had been put in charge of co-ordinating this, Borissov said.
Reports from Skopje on the morning of August 8 said that six people were still missing after the devastating floods and stormy weather.
Ivanov said that 400 people were involved in dealing with the consequences of the disaster.
A state of emergency has been declared in the worst-hit areas, to be in effect for two weeks, while August 8 was a day of mourning.