Newspaper “Trud”: Eng. Spas Popnikolov - the road-maker

Newspaper “Trud”: Eng. Spas Popnikolov - the road-maker

09 Feb 2017 | 09:00

Just a few days after his inauguration as a caretaker Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, Spas Popnikolov faced a serious test. Illuminating beam broke in the tunnel "Echemishka" ,"Hemus" highway, crashing into a car and killed a woman. After the emergency order, which was made at the scene, the Minister was explicid: "There can be no movement in unsecured safety, because human life is most important." He ordered to his supervised agency "Road infrastructure" to propose urgently options to restore the traffic safely

Spas Popnikolov is a professional road-maker. This is the opinion of anyone who knows him and over the years worked with him. According to his colleagues in the road sector his appointment is crucial at such times. As a manager in road construction Popnikolov does not like to talk much, he prefers working and to decide on a priority basis the problems he faces. This is precisely what is expected to be his style of work as well in the mandate of the caretaker government.

In 1997, he graduated the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy as an Engineer of Transportation Engineering. Much of his employment experience is precisely in the construction and repair of highways, roads and other facilities of the road infrastructure. So he knows well most of the road specialists in Bulgaria, as well as transport and economic analysts. He is not worried whenever he faces a challenge in his job to consult the scientific and professional organizations.

He is familiar with the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works. For the first time he crossed its doorstep in 2003 and by January 2007 and he worked in the office as State Expert of "Urbanization, infrastructure engineering and landscape" and in the Office of implementation of projects under the PHARE program.

The main priority of the caretaker government of Ognyan Gerdzhikov is to ensure fair and democratic early parliamentary elections on March 26, and one of the most important people who will be responsible for its implementation is Spas Popnikolov.

In the structures of his ministry is OCSP (Directorate for "Civil Registration and Administrative Services"), which plays a key role in the elections’ preparation.

His professional expertise will be relied on and also when it comes to working on another major priority of the cabinet - the acceleration of infrastructure works, related to the preparation of the Bulgarian presidency of the EU Council in 2018. Because it is clear that without adequate infrastructure there I s no way that such challenge be met successfully.

In life, his most important priority is the family and devotes his free time to them. He loves to cook and shares the maxim that the path of love goes through the high culinary excellence.

When he was younger he was actively engaged in sports - in high school and college he used to play volleyball. Which did not interfere to keep up successfully at school –he graduated the grisly "Bastille" (31 st Secondary School of Languages and Management "Ivan Vazov") in Sofia with an excellent score - 5.97. Now it does not have much time for sports, but occasionally he practices his favorite hobby - fishing.

His understanding of the world is reflected by his three-month specialization in Osaka, Japan, in 2005. Besides opening his horizons on massive construction and maintenance of infrastructure achieved with hard work and discipline of the Japanese people, rich life experience was also the contact with tradition, beauty and philosophy of the Japanese culture and lifestyle.


Reshuffle in RIA and "Avtomagistrali" EAD

After checking to clarify the circumstances leading to the accident in the tunnel "Echemishka", the caretaker Prime Minister Ognyan Gerdzhigav and the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Spas Popnikolov announced yesterday the personnel changes in RIA and "Avtomagistrali" EAD. By order of Gerdjikov, the chairman of the board of the Agency "Road Infrastructure" Eng. Doncho Atanasov and the executive director of "Avtomagistrali" EAD Parashkev Krastev were dismissed. The Minister suggested to be appointed Pirin Penchev as Chairman of the Agency "Road Infrastructure" and Valentin Nikolov asExecutive Director of "Avtomagistrali" EAD –



Rosen Koleliev, member of board of the Construction Chamber in Bulgaria: “Professional and reliable business partner”.

Spas Popnikolov is a professional and reliable partner in business. He possesses the right qualities to be a good managing authority.

He is familiar with the road science and that is why we need someone like him, to create the necessary arrangements for road maintenance in the country with knowledge and expertise. The tunnel "Echemishka" is a small part of the whole system of road maintenance that does not work. In practice, there are many places that road safety audit has yet to be made.

Prof. Ivan Trifonov, holder of the chair of “Roads” in the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy”: He will get into and manage the setting fast

I approve of his election as Regional Minister because the transport infrastructure is funds-eater, and these funds must be managed properly. He can do it. I expect him to take decisive action in respect of certain weaknesses in the roads management. He will deal quickly with the situation and will put everything in place. He was a very good student and the good students become good leaders.

Dobromir Simidchiev, former Deputy Minister of Regional Development: A man who can be relied upon

Apart from being a roadman Spas Popnikolov is someone I can count on. When he makes a commitment, he manages to keep it despite the difficulties. He had previously worked in the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, so he knows some of team and now this fact helps him. He is accustomed to working under very difficult conditions.