Bulgaria's Oil Oligarch Admits to Excessive Fuel Prices

Energy | April 4, 2012, Wednesday // 20:08|  views

The CEO of Lukoil Bulgaria Valentin Zlatev. Photo by BGNES

The General Director of Lukoil Bulgaria Valentin Zlatev, known as one of the top Bulgarian oligarchs, has admitted that fuel prices in the country are way too high.

Zlatev, who is in charge of the Bulgarian branch of the Russian oil giant, including the largest refinery in the Balkans, Lukoil Neftochim Burgas, did say, however, that it is both the consumers, and the producers who suffer from the excessive prices.

He spoke after a meeting of the board of the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria (CEIBG), of which he is a member, with the leadership of the right-wing opposition party of ex PM Ivan Kostov, Democrats for Strong Bulgaria, as cited by Darik Radio.

CEIBG asked the DSB party for the meeting in order "to clarify" the party's "libelous" claims about fuel pricing in Bulgaria.

Zlatev announced that he will be meeting with Bulgarian Economy Minister Delyan Dobrev on April 5, Thursday, in order to present to him a package of measures to bring down rising fuel prices.

"Talking about fuel prices, the truth is that they are excessively high but the real dialogue in this case must be on who can do what in order to make them more tolerable for the consumers. Yes, we are all suffering just as much as the Bulgarian consumer but there are actual things that can be done, and there are things that are pure populism," the oligarch stated.

During the meeting with the CEIBG former Prime Minister Ivan Kostov asked the business association if the Bulgarian Competition Protection Commission could be accused of populism for its ruling that four fuel traders – Lukoil Bulgaria EOOD, Rompetrol Bulgaria AD, Naftex Petrol EOOD, and OMV Bulgaria OOD – have violated the anti-monopoly legislation, forming a de facto cartel on fuel prices.

The competition watchdog is still to make a final ruling after receiving the positions of the four companies.

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Tags: Lukoil, CEIBG, Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria, Valentin Zlatev, Lukoil Bulgaria, Lukoil Neftochim Burgas, oligarch, DSB, Democrats for Strong Bulgaria, Ivan Kostov, Competition Protection Commission


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