Bulgaria: Miners and Energy Workers Protested in SofiaPolitics | September 19, 2023, Tuesday // 15:30| views
Another protest against the government today. Workers from the mining sector started their protest march from Alexander Nevsky Square and ended it in front of the Council of Ministers. The protest is under the title: "For a clear and secure energy future of Bulgaria" and is organized by the trade unions.
People want clarity on the future of energy policy and limiting harmful emissions in the sector. They are worried about their jobs in the country's coal-mining regions: Stara Zagora, Pernik and Kyustendil. The previous National Assembly decided on another renegotiation of the Recovery and Sustainability Plan, which, according to the unions, is not happening.
Unions argue that a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2026 would lead to mass closures of coal plants. They estimate that 20,000 people will be affected by layoffs and another 80,000 people employed in their logistics will also lose their jobs.
"We do not agree with these territorial plans and their discussion, which took place in August, and in Stara Zagora in September, in them there are only palliative things, abstractions, wishes and nothing clear. There are financial dependencies, there is a reduction in manpower, and there is nowhere for people to go if this happens. That's why we don't agree, we don't accept them and we protest, and we want to sit at the negotiating table with the rulers," said Valentin Valchev, chairman of the mining federation, part of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria.
"The territorial plans and the plans for a just transition of Stara Zagora are written extremely restrictively in relation to the Maritsa Iztok complex, in relation to the workers in the complex, in relation to the entire region, and in practice there is no future for the complex and for those working in it," said Deyan Dyakov, chairman of the National Committee in TPP "Maritsa Iztok 2".
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