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Bulgarian Ex-EU Commissioner Proposes Moratorium on Belene NPP
Date: 02/10/2012

The Bulgarian government should impose a moratorium on the Belene NPP project until an overall energy strategy is drafted, according to Meglena Kuneva, former EU Commissioner and leader of the Bulgaria for Citizens party.

She says that the fact that the center-right ruling party GERB and the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) have reached consensus on the matter raises suspicion.

Kuneva suggests that the actual goal of the referendum is to tie the next government down to a commitment.

Kuneva claims that both BSP and GERB said "yes" to the Belene NPP project and the convergence in their positions is suspicious.

"This decision will be put to a referendum just in case members of the next government decide to free themselves from the stranglehold," the former EU Commissioner notes.

The leader of the Bulgaria for Citizens party adds that the entire energy sector management must be changed.

She insists that Prime Minister Boyko Borisov must publish information about all of the meetings he attends on the government's website, following the example of his European counterparts.

Kuneva suggests that GERB should abstain from making any public statements for a certain period of time in order to prevent U-turns.

"I see no other way but to impose a moratorium until they work out an overall energy strategy," the former EU Commissioner says, commenting on the Belene NPP project.

She also informs that the Bulgaria for Citizens party will set up a committee for civic control against abuse of state power.

According to Kuneva, the step comes in response to numerous signals for ludicrous decisions and appointments on a local level.

The Bulgarian government scrapped the Belene NPP project in end-March 2012, declaring it economically unfeasible.

The pro-Belene Bulgarian Socialist Party then launched a petition for a referendum on the fate of the Russian-Bulgarian project.

The inspection of the petition recently concluded, with 543 639 valid signatures, enough to make the vote irreversible.

Six months after the government decided to cancel the Belene NPP project, a private investor showed interest in the construction of the N-plant.

The largely unknown US enterprise Global Power Consortium's interest in the construction of the 2000 MW Belene was made public in Sofia last Wednesday by a representative of the entity, Samuel Reddy, who said he had presented an offer to Bulgarian Minister of Economy, Energy, and Tourism Delyan Dobrev.

Topic: Economy

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