Bulgaria Top Leaders Exchange Energy Policy Blows

Energy | September 8, 2009, Tuesday // 17:28|  views

Bulgaria's President, Georgi Parvanov (l) and PM, Boyko Borisov (r), exchnaged harsh words Tuesday regarding the projects and policies in the energy sector. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgaria's President, Georgi Parvanov, launched Tuesday stark criticism of the energy policy of the country's new cabinet.

In an extensive article, published on the Presidential Institution Internet page, the President accuses the government of lack of competency in the energy sector.

According to Parvanov, the Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, had been obviously unprepared for the recent meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

The Head of State remarks that in the last weeks the Russian side made attempts to renew issues that had already been resolved on political level regarding the "South Stream" gas line such as the use of Bulgaria's existing gas net, the "unacceptable" proposal to restrict Bulgaria's possibilities to participate in other gas projects in the region, the renewed "Gazprom" proposal to buy the shares of the Bulgarian Energy Holding in the "South Stream" project.

"At this stage, fulfilling the requirements of the EU for free access to the line of other countries rich in natural gas resources is a must," Parvanov writes, adding that instead of making statements to Putin that everything with "South Stream" was in order, Borisov, had to tell him Bulgaria opposes such demands.

"We need character, pragmatism, leadership in our energy policy," he declares.

The President further explains that he is alarmed by the new cabinet's confusing positions and messages regarding another project - the Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) "Belene." The cabinet is mandated to analyze the current results, remove the violations, seek punishment for them, while the global financial crisis cannot be a motif to halt the NPP construction, just the contrary, Parvanov points out.

In addition, Parvanov believes that the government's position regarding the "Burgas-Alexandroupulis" oil line demonstrates indecisiveness with the proposition Borisov had presented to Putin that the cabinet was not opposed to the project in principle, but since two referendums showed local people were against it, they needed time to convince them.

The President stresses the importance of the pipe line as the shortest route to supply the much needed oil to Europe, while pointing out there is a need to guarantee the environment in general, not just for the sake of pleasing people.

Parvanov also informs that in a 10-day period his institution will make an assessment of the ideas for dealing with the economic crisis.

In response, Boyko Borisov, cited by the cabinet's press center, states the the President is envious of the successes of the new government such as, in just 40 days, unfreezing the much needed funds from the EU agriculture program SAPARD, the opening of the downtown connection of the Sofia metro, the adequate reaction to the Ohrid tragedy, the legal charges against former Ministers, the mutual trust between the Bulgarian and Russian PMs.

Borisov adds that simple rules of conduct require the opposition to wait for 100 days to make assessments.

"The society did not hear even one assessment coming from the President's mouth for the four years of failure of his creation - the three-party coalition's previous cabinet," the PM concludes.


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Tags: Georgi Parvanov, Boyko Borisov, Vladimir Putin, South stream, Belene, Burgas Alexandroupolis


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