Bulgarian PM Backs Referendum on Belene Nuclear Project

Business » ENERGY | June 18, 2010, Friday // 10:40
Bulgarian PM Backs Referendum on Belene Nuclear Project: Bulgarian PM Backs Referendum on Belene Nuclear Project Bulgaria’s Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, wants to build the NPP Belene, but at a better price. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, declared Friday he is firmly for building a second Nuclear Power Plant in the Danube town of Belene and would support a national referendum on the issue.

Borisov spoke for the morning block of the TV channel Nova Televizia at the same time when President Parvanov laid out his idea for referendum on Belene on the other major TV channel bTV.

Borisov did, however, criticize Parvanov’s support for building the second NPP, saying if “the President wants it so much he must find BGN 7 B.”

The PM reiterated that the cabinet’s goal is to realize the project with clear financial and economic indicators and at this price Belene is not feasible, rejecting speculations the freezing of the NPP triggers Russia’s wrath.

“Russia understands we are talking about billions here. Putin understands me better that local politicians. We must be left alone to lead the negotiations. The easiest thing for me would be to sign the contract right now and let the Russians unload tons of equipment that will just sit there. I have nothing against the Russians, we are brothers, we are Christians, we will reach an agreement,” Borisov said.

The Premier informed the Thursday EU summit had outlined the common Union energy strategy, adding it would be great if Bulgarian media could find a way to inform the Bulgarian public about decisions made in Brussels.

On other issues, the PM stated he “did not care” about future political plans and projects of the Socialist President, adding such project is doomed to failure because it would not be able to find any fresh ideas and faces.

“One can tell right now who those people will be. If I am a voter, I will look carefully and weight everything that a new party has to offer, and scrutinize their ideas to find something new. Parvanov should not be on TV now; he should have spoken much earlier, when the previous cabinet concocted their schemes, especially at the Defense Ministry because he is the Commander in Chief,” Borisov pointed out.

Regarding the President’s criticism towards the cabinet’s fiscal policy, the Premier admitted Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, had made “some mistakes,” but pointed out the good thing is that the latter is aware of them and still enjoys Borisov’s trust.

The PM further acknowledged that the cabinet’s economic team is underperforming and needs reinforcement, but rejected speculations he would resuscitate his earlier idea to bring a third Deputy PM with economic background or that he might release from his duties Economy and Energy Minister, Traicho Traikov.

The Premier also firmly dismissed rumors of a secret agreement with the opposition ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS.

Regarding the latest poll of the Alfa Research Agency, which showed Bulgarians give a grade of 3.34 (D) to the cabinet, Borisov commented that “this was just the first semester grade and they were caught unprepared, but by the end of the term will improve to an A.”

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Tags: Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister, Belene NPP, Nuclear Power Plant, Referendum, Georgi Parvanov, Simeon Djankov, Traicho Traikov, DPS, Alfa Research

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