Bulgarian MPs 'Cannot Launch' EVN Probe Against President

Domestic | May 9, 2014, Friday // 11:08|  views

Georgi Bliznashki has lately stood out as a staunch defender of President Plevneliev's actions. Photo by BGNES

Lawmakers in Bulgaria "have no right" to investigate President Rosen Plevneliev's meetings with energy company EVN's head in March, according to experts.

Georgi Bliznashki and Ekaterina Mihaylova, experts in constitutional law, said for the TV channel bTV's breakfast show that, under a ruling by Bulgaria's top court, only government officials are liable to parliamentary scrutiny.

They added that no high treason had been committed during his visit to Vienna, where he met the leadership of EVN, the Austrian-based company which is one of Bulgaria's energy grid operators and which has been embroiled in a financial dispute with the energy watchdog DKEVR.

Both Bliznashki and Mihaylova were firm that Thursday's parliamentary vote in favour of setting up the "Plevneliev Committee" was only aimed at retaining the support of the far-right Ataka, the party which "maintains quorum" while "the others govern", as Mihaylova was quoted as saying.

Bulgaria's Parliament approved on Thursday the creation of a committee assigned the task of investigating “the activities of the EDCs [electricity distribution companies] and the concessioners and their unauthorized contacts with politicians".

Even though the officially adopted text does not target Plevneliev, Ataka, who proposed the move, has repeatedly spoken in favour of looking into the President's visit.

The Committee has a three-month term and will be presided by Magdalena Tasheva, who has been among the Ataka's unofficial spokespeople regarding the activities of Plevneliev.

Bulgarian President's visit to Vienna, during which he held talks with EVN Bulgaria chairman Stefan Siskovic, coincided with the debt dispute between power distributors and DKEVR, with the latter claiming that they owe hundreds of millions of BGN to the National Electricity Company (NEK) and grid operators claiming it was vice versa.

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Tags: Rosen Plevneliev, Plevneliev, Georgi Bliznashki, Ekaterina Mihaylova, Ataka, power distribotors, electicity distribution companies, EDCs, Magdalena Tasheva, EVN


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