Nuclear Energy Development Transcends Party Lines – Former Bulgarian President
Former socialist President Georgi Parvanov has argued that the discussion on the development of nuclear energy in Bulgaria is split along party lines.
"I would like to emphasize that there is no left and right on the matter. This is a national cause," Parvanov noted Monday during a round table held prior to the January 27 nuclear referendum.
"The referendum was made necessary by the persistent and consistent policy, not to say the political stubbornness, of the government to block the development of nuclear energy for a long period of time," Bulgaria's former head of state declared, as cited by the Focus news agency.
He suggested that the issue of nuclear energy required a decision by consensus, which had obviously become unachievable.
"It takes leadership and pragmatism but I do not see any leadership actions by the Prime Minister. As a result, the referendum remains the only means of consulting the population about their opinion, which will make the process irreversible," Parvanov stated.
He said that Bulgaria had wasted its chance to restructure its economy amid the crisis, as a number of large countries had done, putting the emphasis on hi-tech industries.
"This did not happen in Bulgaria.The government opted for another vision for an exit from the crisis, only to have the head of the International Monetary Fund come to Bulgaria and tell us that this exit strategy from the crisis is not working, not to say that it is outright wrong," he added.
Parvanov emphasized that the issue of developing nuclear energy in Bulgaria would determine the country's exit from the crisis and its economic situation.
Regarding the validity of the January 27 referendum, he suggested that the threshold of 60% of all Bulgarians eligible to vote was difficult to achieve and had to be amended, without going into the other extreme by setting the barrier too low or removing it altogether, which would put the country in a deadlock.
On January 27, Bulgarians are to express their opinion on the development of nuclear energy in the country by answering the question "Should Bulgaria develop nuclear energy through the construction of a new nuclear plant?"
The referendum was called to decide the fate of frozen Belene NPP project.
The GERB government scrapped the Belene NPP project in March 2012, declaring it economically unfeasible.
Prime Minister Borisov suggested that the reactor earmarked for the project had to be moved to the Kozloduy NPP site.
The pro-Belene, opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party, 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.
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