Socialist MP: Bulgaria PM's 'No' to Belene NPP Highlights Inconsistency

Domestic | January 8, 2013, Tuesday // 15:20|  views

Former Interior Minister and socialist MP Rumen Petkov, photo by BGNES

Former Interior Minister and socialist MP Rumen Petkov has suggested that the recent calls of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov for an adamant "no" to the Belene NPP project have exposed his inability to pursue a consistent policy on issues of strategic importance for Bulgaria.

Speaking Tuesday at a meeting with journalists, Petkov, as cited by Darik radio, reminded of

He reminded that over the past three years Bulgarian media had repeatedly published Borisov's mutually contradictory claims regarding Bulgaria's inability to cope with the problems that would arise without the Belene nuclear power plant, the importance of the construction of the N-plant from a social and economic perspective, up until his latest calls for a decisive "no" to the Belene NPP project.

He suggested that the position of "the so-called" right-wing Blue Coalition was understandable, given that the leader of the formation, Ivan Kostov was the major culprit for the closure of closure of units 1 - 4 of the Kozloduy NPP.

The socialist MP went on to say that the stance of Meglena Kuneva, founder of the Bulgaria for Citizens Movement, former EU Commissioner, and Bulgaria's Chief Negotiator in the EU accession talks in 2001-2007, was also easy to understand.

Petkov accused Kuneva of failing to conduct negotiations with the European Commission in a way that would have protected Bulgaria's national interest as regards the closure of units 1-4 of the Kozloduy NPP.

The socialist MP argued that Borisov's stance was beneficial to the Bulgarian Socialist Party because it would move all reasonable and civic-minded people who were aware of their individual and social interests.

Petkov, former Mayor of the northern city of Pleven, suggested that the decisive "no" of Borisov to the Belene N-plant project was the "emanation of the destruction of the Pleven region and Central Northern Bulgaria."

He argued that Borisov's latest calls urged all supporters of center-right ruling party GERB vote against themselves.

Petkov went on to say that he was particularly curious to learn the stance of Parliament Chair Tsetska Tsacheva on the Belene N-plant project as she had repeatedly requested that the name of the Belene NPP be included in the referendum question.

He added that Tsacheva had spoken in favor of the construction of the Belene NPP during election campaigns for parliamentary and presidential elections.

The socialist MP said that he would like to learn the stance of Pleven Mayor Dimitar Stoykov, a nominee of GERB, and of the local administration, on the Belene NPP project.

"If these people have at least a modicum of morality and personal dignity and if they are aware of what they were elected for by a certain community, they must categorically distance themselves from this stance and oppose it," he declared.

On January 27, Bulgarians are to express their opinion on the development of nuclear energy in the country by answering the question "Should Bulgaria develop nuclear energy through the construction of a new nuclear plant?"

The referendum was called to decide the fate of frozen Belene NPP project.

The GERB government scrapped the Belene NPP project in March 2012, declaring it economically unfeasible.

The pro-Belene, opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, then launched a petition for a referendum on the Russian-Bulgarian project's fate.

The inspection of the petition recently concluded the 543 639 valid signatures are enough to make the vote irreversible.

In a Sunday interview, Boyko Borisov urged GERB supporters to vote "no" on January 27, specifying that the center-right party supported nuclear energy but opposed the Belene N-plant project and was in favor of the construction of a new unit of the existing Kozloduy N-plant.

The Bulgarian PM added that GERB was also in favor of the extension of the lives of the operating units 5 and 6 of the Kozloduy NPP.

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Tags: Rumen Petkov, Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, Referendum, Belene NPP, Kozloduy NPP, Ivan Kostov, Blue Coalition, Meglena Kuneva, EU Commisioner, EU Commission, decommissioning, Tsetska Tsacheva, Pleven


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