Bulgaria and Ukraine will sign a Memorandum in the field of Energy - Kyiv is interested in the Reactors of "Belene" NPPPolitics | July 6, 2023, Thursday // 10:35| views
Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov announced that Ukraine had made an inquiry about the reactors from "Belene" already last year.
"I inquired about what was done when I entered the government. It turned out that the caretaker government did not move the matter forward," he announced during the live broadcast on Facebook from the Council of Ministers, where he answered questions from citizens and journalists.
Denkov explained that today a memorandum will be signed with Ukraine in the field of energy. This will become a fact during the visit of President Volodymyr Zelensky to our country.
The example announced that the construction of blocks 7 and 8 of "Kozloduy" NPP are in the cabinet's plans: "On the other hand, the Belene project has no basis for us, there is no need to look for four blocks, as is the opinion of a former minister. There are no such needs in the regions at the moment. We need to stabilize our system with the necessary base capacities and develop all the technologies".
Bulgaria has secured gas until the end of the year. Negotiations are underway with Azerbaijan to increase the volume of deliveries. Work continues on the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline, Denkov also said.
The war in Ukraine
Academician Denkov insisted that there is no real danger of war today, but "we must work to ensure that there is no war at all from now on."
"I don't see how Russia can win the war, the question is how they will end the peace talks, which depend on the efforts on the battlefield," he said.
According to him, there are two reasons for helping Ukraine. The first is that it was attacked.
"70 years after World War II, countries must stick to their borders, and Russia attacked Ukraine. If one aggressor succeeds in one place, it will embolden others. The second reason is directly related to Bulgaria - Russia threatened that after Ukraine other countries such as Moldova, the Baltic states can follow. And Russia has already declared us an enemy country without us doing anything," stressed Denkov.
When asked how he would reduce Russian influence, he replied: "We need to be much more active in telling the real stories, facts and data. In part of the media, false information is being spread, we hear made-up stories and they get support at a high level.
Schengen - myth or reality?
According to him, we must first do our homework in order to successfully enter Schengen.
"Extremely important are the laws that are in the parliament now - some of them have been adopted, another part will be considered. We must also implement these laws. Unfortunately, we also have bitter experience. The creation of the specialized courts and prosecutor's office were steps from which we expected there to be real results, and their activity went in an absolutely negative direction. So, on the one hand, we need to adopt laws, on the other hand, to select people with real qualities, in the SJC, like the chief prosecutor, so that they do their job so that there are no dead bodies, and they're not doing it now. When they do it, we'll be much more convincing. So with the border guard, we can go to the Austrian parliament and say - we've done our job, now you have to do it too I hope it will be done by the end of the year," he explained.
About the conflict with the president
"I have never instigated the conflict with the president," the prime minister emphasized in response to another question, adding that he had informed Rumen Radev about the upcoming visit of Zelensky:
"I've been the person who's been trying to calm things down so we can have a normal dialogue... I've seen some calming down on the other side in the last week or two. I hope that continues."
North Macedonia's membership in the EU
"At the moment, the decisive step has to be taken by North Macedonia, in order to start negotiations with the EU, they must change their constitution. It is also important to protect the civil rights of people with a Bulgarian identity. Nothing more is required of them. The question is, are they ready to go through this process... The real elephant in the room is when they will accept their changes to the constitution," explained Nikolay Denkov and clarified that he had conversations on the subject with German Prime Minister Scholz.
"I told him: Look, any attempt to get out of the European compromise will hinder the process, so let's go back to that basis. Sometimes wrong signals are given to the Republic of North Macedonia," he added.
The work of the government GERB-SDS - WCC-DB and the state budget
According to the Prime Minister, the political environment is difficult, but his ministers got down to work in just a few days: "What we are trying to build is teamwork".
The prime minister insisted that the 2024 budget will see an increase in the minimum wage, but there is no money for a jump in police salaries.
"It is not the way for people to stand under the windows in order to have a fair distribution of the budget. This depends on the branch organizations, unions and relevant ministers," he said regarding the requested salary increase by the uniformed officers and recalled that last year there was an increase and it was 20%.
He commented that even if he heard "sirens" from a police protest under the windows of the Council of Ministers, he would not be impressed, as these are the possibilities of the budget.
"The idea of introducing a progressive tax is not discussed. Our entire focus is on clarifying the gray economy. For example, we have an idea in the budget - if they don't issue you a receipt, you don't pay in the restaurant. Such a measure was implemented in Greece years ago and led to a positive result. Not only the prime minister, but everyone will get up from the table in this case. As far as I saw, even the restaurateurs accepted this idea. Another proposal is to pay salaries entirely by bank transfer," said Denkov.
The Prime Minister admitted that they were late with the appointment of the regional governors: "We will wait a little longer, we are still waiting for the colleagues from GERB".
According to him, a consensus must be reached among the people's representatives who represent the regions. However, Denkov noted that deputy ministers are appointed almost everywhere.
Roads and safety
The Prime Minister commented that there is a map made by Agency "Road Infrastructure" that shows 40 places that are very problematic on the roads, they will be prioritized. He reminded that the driver's exams have already been amended so that the practical part is also visible in the theoretical exams.
"You know that we are also talking about introducing zones with a 30 km per hour limit. There is also a problem with the cameras - the municipal governments cannot use the cameras for control. Here is a problem that seems trivial, but has not been fixed for years," pointed out Denkov.
Is the Black Sea clean?
"Our sea is clean and there should be no doubt about that, every day I receive a report from the Bulgarian and Romanian authorities. None of what was collected in the Gulf of Odesa has passed into Romanian waters, let alone into Bulgarian waters. There is an aggressive campaign, it breaks through here and there in the media, to harm tourism in our country and in Romania, but I assure you that if any danger appears, you will be informed immediately", he was categorical.
Culture as a priority
According to him, art and culture are among the cabinet's priorities.
"Not only on May 24. What we lack is how development can be better instrumentalized. Last year, the financing of the Culture Fund was increased and it turned out that we could not absorb these funds," said Academician Denkov and reminded that this was also the case with the research fund years ago, but it was already working well because many specialists were working with it with clear rules.
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