Interview with Mayor Ognyan Tsenkov and Deputy Mayor Desislava Todorovai in Vidin, Bulgaria
VP Hermann Pönisch has known the Vidin region for many years. Vidin is located in the northwest of Bulgaria, separated from Romania by the Danube and about 50 km from the Serbian border. Vidin has developed from a noem important industrial location (tire production, chemical industry) with two Danube harbours to a "poorhouse" after the reunification. The region is currently the poorest region in the EU. Attempts to revive the economy have so far mostly got stuck in their tracks, although some conditions have been created for this, e.g. a modern car and railway bridge has bridged the Danube since 2013. On the Romanian side, EU funds were used to push ahead with the road expansion, while on the Bulgarian side there is still waiting for an express road connection to Sofia.
Vidin has a dramatic population decline, especially the youth leaves the city because they see no prospects. At the moment Vidin is planning a new industrial area near the bridge, for which investors are sought for whom the greatest possible support is offered. The city is also plagued by major financial problems, so VP Pönisch was asked if he could try to get old waste containers that are no longer in use. He was also asked for garbage trucks that were no longer used.
The Vidin region was also an important agricultural centre, the historic city - founded as "Bononia" by the Romans - has a lot to offer. Something very special in Vidin is the proximity of the Orthodox cathedral (the second largest in Bulgaria) to the mosque opposite, which has no half moon in the world, but a heart on top of the dome and to the Jewish synagogue, of which unfortunately only the outer walls stand.
As part of our "Danube Strategy" project, VP Pönisch offered the mayors the support of the OWWF to help with advice and, as far as possible, with deeds in the city's projects.
Picture from left: Vice Mayor Desislava Todorova, Mayor Ognyan Tsenkov, VP Hermann Pönisch, Dipl.-Ing. Andre Lasarow, RA Dimitar Mitov