Bulgarian Parliament Speaker Says 'Yes' to Belene NPP
The Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament, Tsetska Tsacheva, declared Saturday she would vote yes in the referendum on the project to build a second Nuclear Power Plant in the Danube town of Belene.
"I will participate in the referendum and will vote yes on Belene," Tsacheva said, speaking in an interview for Darik radio, grounding her decision on the fact she was elected Member of the Parliament from the northwestern region of Pleven, where Belene is located.
"This is a very impoverished region; it needs business, jobs. The transition period turned it from a place with strong industry and farming into a place where words such as production are part of history," said she.
Tsacheva stressed it was understandable to have great expectations when such serious and large project is at stake, but wishes and intentions must stop here, and now Bulgaria must examine the possibility of funding the project.
The GERB government scrapped the Belene NPP project in March 2012, declaring it economically unfeasible. The pro-Belene BSP then launched a petition for a referendum on the Russian-Bulgarian project's fate.
The inspection of the petition recently concluded the 543 639 valid signatures are enough to make the vote irreversible.
The question of the petition was: "Should nuclear energy be developed in Bulgaria through the building of a Nuclear Plant at the Belene site?"
On Thursday, MPs from the Legal Committee of the Bulgarian Parliament voted the edited version of the question, changing it to "Should atomic energy be developed in Bulgaria through the building of a new Atomic Plant?"
Only Members of the Parliament from the ruling, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, had the final say on the question after three hours of heated debates. Those from the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, and the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, left in sign of protest before the vote.
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