Bulgaria's Caretaker Deputy PM: Electricity Market Liberalization Will Not Increase Prices

Business » ENERGY | March 28, 2013, Thursday // 12:36
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Caretaker Deputy PM: Electricity Market Liberalization Will Not Increase Prices Ekaterina Zaharieva, caretaker Deputy Minister, has assured that the liberalization of the electricity market in Bulgaria will not result in increased electricity prices. Photo by BGNES

Ekaterina Zaharieva, caretaker Deputy Minister, has assured that the liberalization of the electricity market in Bulgaria will not result in increased electricity prices.

In a Tuesday interview for the morning broadcast of bTV, she admitted that the liberalization of the electricity market had caused price increases in some countries in the initial stages of the process.

Zaharieva noted, however, that the long-term impact of the liberalization of the electricity market would be a reduction in power rates and the creation of a balanced and competitive environment in the sector.

Zaharieva's comments came in response to the statement of Evgenia Haritonova, Chair of the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR), that the liberalization of the electricity market would result in a substantial price increase mainly due to the required investments.

Bulgaria's caretaker Deputy Prime Minister, as cited by investor.bg, explained that the country would face fines of around EUR 16 000 a day unless it achieved the liberalization of the market in line with EU rules.

She informed that experts from the European Commission's Energy and Competition Directorates-General would help Bulgaria stabilize the energy sector by conducting a probe along the entire chain, identifying weaknesses, and giving recommendations for their elimination.

Zaharieva suggested that a comprehensive analysis of the sector could be completed in two months.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that the EC had the obligation to lend technical assistance for the implementation of energy market liberalization due to the launched infringement proceedings against Bulgaria.

She added that Bulgaria also expected the EC to draw up a list of good practices to help optimize the activity of the energy watchdog.

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Tags: electricity prices, liberalization, Deputy Prime Minister, caretaker government, infringement procedure, State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation, DKEVR
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