Bulgarian PM: Stop Nagging Me on Shale Gas
Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, is asking fellow citizens, who oppose the exploring for shale gas in northeastern Bulgaria, to stop irritating him otherwise he would sign the contract out of "stubbornness."
Borisov spoke Sunday in the northeastern city of Dobrich where he opened the city's newly remodeled pedestrian area. The investment amount is BGN 5 M and construction works were completed in less than one year.
Borisov congratulated Dobrich residents for their new acquisition and stressed the crucial importance of infrastructure which would attract both investors and emigrants to return to the country.
Those gathered at the ceremony, however, were waiving a large number of signs in protest against plans for exploration and extraction of shale gas in the area.
The PM reminded that just days ago he had talks on the issue with two ministers where everything had been explained, including safety guarantees.
"Nothing will happen if you stop irritating me. About those holding the signs, I wish to tell that they are enticed by a particular political party. If this keeps going on, we will sign the contract just out of sheer stubbornness," Borisov declared.
After cutting the ribbon, the PM went on a 20-minute walk on the bike path, took pictures with citizens, gave autographs and received a number of small token gifts.
Environmentalists and local residents fear that the technique, which involves pumping unspecified chemicals into the ground at high pressure - so-called hydraulic fracturing - might pollute soils and groundwater in Dobrudzha, one of the most fertile regions in Bulgaria.
Shale gas extraction has been a controversial technique, after a number of wells in the US - the country that pioneered it - leaked, causing massive damage to drinking water.
The US government is currently holding a massive survey of the method and the need to regulate it, while in July France became the first country in the world to impose an all-out ban on it, after protests from local residents.