Ex President: Bulgaria Must Revive ASAP Belene NPP
Bulgaria's former President Georgi Parvanov (2001-2011) says there should be no hesitation whatsoever in reviving the project to build a Russian-sponsored second nuclear power plant in the Danube town of Belene.
"This hesitation I sense sounds unconvincing. In energy diplomacy, loosing speed could have a very high price, and we must avoid this. If someone has doubts, I wish to hear their grounds. I am convinced of the need of a second NPP and will provoke a debate on it and on the Russian South Stream gas pipeline project because we are losing speed while other countries are resolving their energy problems," said he.
Parvanov, who is also a former leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, stated the majority of the left wing was for realizing the project and was the moving force behind the NPP referendum, which has been supported with very sound "pro" arguments.
"If we were wrong then, we must apologize, but if we were right – we must go ahead with the project. How much longer are we going to procrastinate with some feasibility studies and pay consultants when everything is crystal clear since the very beginning," concluded the former President.
On Sunday, Ramadan Atalay, Member of the Parliament from the liberal, predominantly ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, stated Bulgaria's rulers will commission another feasibility study of the project.
One day earlier, Sergei Stanishev, leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), the party of European Socialists (PES) and former PM, stated projects like the South Stream gas pipeline and the Belene NPP had the potential to give Bulgaria a much stronger position on the European map thanks to billions in investments in the Bulgarian economy and local job creation.
Bulgaria's previous government of the now-opposition center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, scrapped the Belene project in March 2012, declaring it economically unfeasible.
The pro-Belene BSP then launched a petition for a referendum on the Russian-Bulgarian project. The referendum was held on January 27, 2013.
Soon after it took office at the end of May 2013, Bulgaria's Socialist-led government of Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski, endorsed by DPS, included in its plans a possible restart of the Belene NPP project.
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