Chair of Employers' Association: Power Price Hike Will Cause Protests to Intensify
Kiril Domuschiev, Chair of the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria (CEIBG), has suggested that a decision of the energy watchdog to increase electricity prices will cause protests to continue into September and to intensify in scale.
Bulgaria’s Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (KEVR) is to announce the new power rates taking effect on August 1 Friday afternoon.
On Wednesday, representatives of the four nationally represented employers’ associations and the two trade unions staged a nationwide protest against the forthcoming substantial power price hike for industrial consumers.
In a Friday interview for the Bulgarian National Television he claimed that the protests were not against the current government, adding that the participants in the rallies demanded reform in the energy sector and the implementation of market principles.
He went on to say that in the case of a decision of KEVR for an increase in electricity prices for industrial consumers, the opponents of the measure would call for the resignation of KEVR Chair Ivan Ivanov and, possibly, of the entire KEVR panel.
Domuschiev, as cited by investor.bg, pointed out that almost all of the measures aimed at curbing the energy system deficit put forth by the business sector had been dropped.
He said that the Energy Act had been amended to suit the interests of lobby groups such as that of owners of biomass power plants.
Domuschiev cautioned that the step would increase the deficit by an extra several hundred million leva.
He underscored that the business sector did not say that electricity prices had to increase or decrease but that each and every producer of electricity had to take part in the market.
The Chair of the CEIBG declared that the “obligation to society” component of electricity prices had been increasing throughout the years to reach a point where it would form 40% of the power rate.
Domuschiev noted that the cost of the “obligation to society” would be covered both by the industry and by the people.
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