Bulgaria's Ex Energy Minister: Power Rates Will Increase in 2014
Former Bulgarian Economy and Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev has warned that power rates will go up in 2014 due to the 5% price cut introduced in August 2013.
During a press conference on Sunday, Dobrev, as cited by Darik radio, explained that the decrease in the transmission fee should have gone hand in hand with updates to the contracts with the state-owned energy companies to their benefit.
He argued that the failure to introduce updates to the contracts had resulted in a situation in which foreign companies were able to buy electricity from Bulgarian plants at a lower price by around BGN 20/MWh compared to the tariffs for Bulgarian firms.
Dobrev, MP of center-right party (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, said that the measure had increased deficits in the energy sector, at the same time forcing Bulgarian companies and consumers to buy costlier electricity compared to consumers abroad.
Bulgaria's former Economy and Energy Minister noted that the country incurred losses of over BGN 10 M a month as a result of the misguided step.
He argued that the energy sector was co-financed with money from the state budget, meaning that Bulgarians paid for electricity supply not only through their monthly bills but through taxes.
Dobrev was adamant that the 5% reduction in power rates had been made possible by a transfer of taxpayers' money into the energy sector.
He went on to say that the plans of Dragomir Stoynev, Bulgaria's current Energy Minister, to alert the prosecuting authority about a 2012 fraud scheme for draining BGN 230 M from the energy sector was an attempt to divert the attention of the supporters of the socialist-led coalition government from the lack of a conclusive stance on the Belene nuclear power plant (NPP) project .
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