Belene Nuclear Project or the Lunacy of Bulgarian Democracy

Editorial |Author: Maria Guineva | April 6, 2011, Wednesday // 15:30|  views

After so much going forward and back with Bulgaria's plans to "build or not" a second Nuclear Power Plant in the Danube town of Belene, the project landed in a huge scandal when it was revealed the Director of the National Electric Company signed a document with the Russians, allegedly committing his country to building the NPP in contradiction with national interests.

This is what we know so far:

Two documents have been signed: a memorandum to align the project with the new EU nuclear safety requirements within the next three months, and the notorious annex 12, mandating the sides to sign the NPP contract within two months (or three, according to different officials' statements?).

Energy Minister, Traicho Traikov, fired NEK Head, Krasimir Parvanov, for exceeding his authority by signing the annex, despite being banned from doing so, but the ousting must be approved by the Energy Holding.

Traikov says annex 12 breaches national security, but it does not mean Belene will be built at any price. Lawyers are still assessing the damage.

The Energy Minister was supposed to have a hearing in the Parliament to explain what exactly has been signed, but never went – reasons unknown.

Traikov was also scheduled to travel to Russia for a meeting of the Bulgarian-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission, where, by all accounts, Belene would top the agenda. He never went, again for unknown reasons, but stated the NPP will not be discussed in Moscow.

Parvanov denied any wrongdoing, saying Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, one of the strongest opponents of the project, had been informed about the text of the agreement and had approved it.

Traikov did not know about Djankov's approval, but, after a 24-hour-long silence, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, declared he was aware of it, and the decision to fire Parvanov is premature.

Djankov is unavailable for comments because he is on a visit to the US.

Borisov says nothing has changed and gave Traikov the "yellow card."

The cabinet's press office refuses to make public the conversation between the PM and Parvanov.

"In a normal democracy there would have been resignations...," we keep saying every time, even though "abnormal democracy" sounds a lot like an oxymoron.

The only emerging, clear conclusion is GERB's consistent trend of ruling the country by keeping it in the dark; making contradictory statements, and toppling one scandal with a new, bigger one. Anyone remembers Misho the Beer anymore?

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Tags: hearing, Economy and Energy Minister, Russia, Krasimir Parvanov, NEK, Rosatom, NPP, Belene, Atomstroyexport, National Electric Company, NEK, Traicho Traikov, GERB, Blue Coalition, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, Bulgarian-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission, Finace Minister, Simeon Djankov

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