Civic Referendum on Bulgaria's Sole Nuclear Plant Underway

Politics | April 17, 2005, Sunday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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Civic Referendum on Bulgaria's Sole Nuclear Plant Underway Krassimir Karakachanov (L), leader of nationalistic VMRO was among the first to cast a ballot in the referendum on the future of Bulgaria’s sole nuclear power plant Kozloduy that opened Sunday. Photo by G. Kostadinova (Sofia News Agency)

A civic referendum on the future of Bulgaria's sole nuclear power plant Kozloduy opened Sunday at the main entrance of the National Palace of Culture in Sofia.

The referendum gives citizens an opportunity to offer their opinions by casting ballots, telephone calls, post or online vote.

Ballot boxes will be opened across the country from April 17 till 24.

Organizers of the referendum are the second pre-election right-wing coalition, which emerged at the end of February on the jagged spectrum, bringing together the Union of Free Democrats of Sofia Mayor Stefan Sofianski, the Agriculture Party (BZNS) of Anastasia Mozer and the nationalistic VMRO of Krassimir Karakachanov. They demand that the decision for Kozloduy units decommissioning be reconsidered to prevent electricity price hikes.

Bulgaria closed two of the six units at its sole nuclear plant Kozloduy in 2003. The country has agreed with the EU to shut down two units at Kozloduy, which produces 40% of the country's power, by the end of 2006.

The results of the referendum will be announced on the eve of Bulgaria's EU accession treaty signing on April 25 in Luxembourg.
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