Bulgaria PM 'Ready to Join Protests over Power Price Hike'
Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has said he will join demonstrations of business unions against planned hikes in electricity prices if such action is called.
Borisov, whose previous government had to step down amid protests over a sharp rise in electricity bills for household consumers, is quoted by Focus News Agency as urging KEVR, the national energy watchdog, to delay the increase if possible.
Amendments currently tabled (but not yet in force) foresee hikes for business consumers as of July 1.
Some business representatives have voiced their disagreement and later vowed to hold strike action for an hour on a daily bases starting June 26 if measures are not revoked.
Parties such as the Patriotic Front (PF), a nationalist coalition backing the minority government, even vowed to withdraw support if the cabinet does not give up the idea.
With his comments Borisov is now endorsing the critics of such increase.
However, he added on Friday he is determined not to interfere in the work of KEVR, which is entitled to decide on the prices under Bulgarian law.
"But I have the right to interfere in the work of NEK (National Electricity Company), BEH (Bulgarian Energy Holding) and if necessary to go even further and [make] changes to two or three legal wordings, and I will insist on this," he made clear.
Bulgaria's energy watchdog is often thought to be pushing electricity bills down to avoid social dissension.
The energy system, on the other hand, is marked by the EU's lowest power bills and by debts of the NEK and BEH, state-owned structures, to foreign-owned power distributors worth billions of BGN.
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