Bulgaria's Ex-Energy Minister: GERB Govt Paid BGN 13 M on Belene NPP Project after its Cancellation
Bulgaria's former center-right GERB government paid invoices worth BGN 13 M despite the fact that the Parliament had already adopted a decision to terminate the project for the construction of the Belene nuclear power plant, according to Economy and Energy Minister Dragomir Stoynev.
Stoynev's statement came in response to questions of journalists whether payments for consultancy services had been made after the adoption of the political decision to scrap the Belene NPP project.
"The investigations of the prosecuting authority concern EUR 18 M," he stated Monday, as cited by the Focus news agency.
Stoynev claimed that there were more tip-offs about fraud schemes in the energy sector worth BGN 390 M on which the prosecuting authority was yet to come up with a statement.
Regarding the arrest of former chief executives of the National Electric Company (NEK) under the "Belene" special police operation on Friday, he said that the main reason for the step was suspected embezzlement.
"If we want the Bulgarian energy sector to develop in line with the interest of Bulgarian citizens, these fraud schemes must be eradicated once and for all," Stoynev noted.
Bulgaria's Economy and Energy Minister pointed out that the main goal of the current socialist-led government was to restore the rule of law, adding that nobody would enjoy protections.
Bulgaria's prosecuting authority is currently examining materials concerning irregularities in the Belene NPP project.
On August 9, the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office initiated pre-trial proceedings for large scale embezzlement to the tune of EUR 18 M.
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