Bulgarian Conservative Links Belene NPP with Espionage

Energy | September 14, 2012, Friday // 11:31|  views

The leader of the conservative Order, Law and Justice party, RZS, Yane Yanev, labels the Belene NPP project "the biggest corruption scam since the fall of Communism." Photo by BGNES

There are one or two espionage investigations and cases in the project to build a second Nuclear Power Plant, NPP, in the Danube town of Belene in Bulgaria.

The claim was made by the leader of the marginal conservative Order, Law and Justice party, RZS, Yane Yanev, speaking Friday in an interview for Nova TV.

Yanev declined giving any further details on grounds this was classified information, but stressed the public is being kept in the dark about many aspects of the project.

"Everything is surrounded by secrecy and classified information. Belene is the biggest corruption scam since the fall of Communism 23 years ago, where millions of taxpayers' money have been wasted" the RZS leader said.

He stressed that for many activities at the NPP site there have not been any public tenders, leading to suddenly turning certain businesses very wealthy with the Mafia being the moving force behind it all, undermining the interests of the State.

Yanev directed his main accusations towards the opposition, left-wing Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, and Bulgaria's first EU Commissioner and now leader of the party Bulgaria for Citizens, Meglena Kuneva.

Yanev, who during the presidential race in October 2011 threatened to "fire Prime Minister Boyko Borisov," emerged several months ago as one of his and the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, strongest allies. He demands the establishment of an Anti-corruption Committee to deal with such cases involving senior officials.

The contract for the construction of the 2000-MW Belene NPP was signed in 2006 with Russian state company Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of Rosatom, by the coalition Cabinet of PM Sergey Stanishev.

However, the construction made little congress because of constant price haggling between Bulgaria and Russia, and in 2009 German company RWE, which was supposed to provide EUR 2 B for the project as a strategic investor, pulled out.

The Borisov Cabinet, which took over in 2009, technically continued the search for strategic investors but in March 2012 it announced it was ending the Belene NPP, labeling it "economically unfeasible".

Belene reemerged during the week as headline news after Atomstroyexport increased to EUR 1 B its claim against Bulgaria's National Electric Company, NEK, over the country abandoning the project, triggering an avalanche of commentaries and the exchange of strong words between the two countries.

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Tags: conservative, order, Law and Justice party, RZS, Yane Yanev, corruption, Meglena Kuneva, NPP, Nuclear Power Plant, Belene, Atomstroyexport, Rosatom, Russia, former PM, Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister, BSP, GERB


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