Bulgaria's N-Plant Referendum Questions Made Identical after Editing
After editing by the Parliamentary Energy Committee, the two different versions of the question for the upcoming N-plant referendum in Bulgaria were made identical.
The MPs reviewed the two proposals - "Should Bulgaria develop atomic energy through the construction of a nuclear power plant at the site in Belene?" and "Should Bulgaria develop nuclear energy through the construction of a new nuclear power plant?"
The Parliamentary Energy Committee removed had "at the site in Belene" from the first question proposed by Bulgarian socialists and also replaced "atomic" with "nuclear".
A petition initiated by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) containing the first version of the question brought over 700 000 signatures in support of the first question.
The subsequent inspection of the petition found 543 639 valid signatures, enough to make the vote irreversible.
The second version of the referendum question was proposed by Dobroslav Dimitrov from center-right ruling party GERB.
Petar Dimitrov from BSP adamantly opposed the replacing of the original question with an abstractly worded question, adding that it would return things back to square one.
He insisted that the Belene NPP project had not been frozen and that expenses were piling up which Bulgaria would have to cover one day.
"The question is whether we should postpone the construction of a new nuclear power plant or we should do it now, when we are prepared to do it," the left-wing MP and former Energy Minister stated.
Dian Chervenkondev from GERB argued that Bulgaria's Parliament was authorized to edit the question proposed by the initiative committee and rejected accusations that the support of the people who signed the petition was being misused.
He further insisted that the initiative committee behind the petition and BSP had to declare whether it was aware of the cost of the Belene NPP and the electricity it would generate.
In the beginning of October it was announced that the N-plant referendum in Bulgaria would take place in three months' time.
The GERB government scrapped the Belene NPP project in March 2012 on the grounds that it was economically unfeasible.
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