MPs Clash! Vazrazhdane's Standoff In The Bulgarian ParliamentPolitics | December 18, 2023, Monday // 11:09| views
An extraordinary session in the Bulgarian Parliament took a tumultuous turn as members of the pro-Russian party "Vazrazhdane" party sought to disrupt proceedings, sparking turmoil within the debating chamber. The session, primarily focused on critical energy-related amendments, was marred by dramatic interruptions and attempts to silence discussions by shutting down the sound system. Energy Committee Chair Delyan Dobrev's presentation of amendments to the Act on Restrictive Measures related to Russia's actions in Ukraine was notably affected.
The tumult escalated when MPs from "Vazrazhdane" and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) engaged in a heated confrontation, culminating in a request for an adjournment from Vazrazhdane's MP, Petar Petrov. However, despite the disruptions, the session proceeded after reaching the minimal required number of lawmakers. Nevertheless, Vazrazhdane MPs continued to block access to the rostrum, aiming to disrupt the parliamentary process.
Efforts to restore order included a proposal by GERB-SDS Floor Leader Desislava Atanasova, advocating for speeches to be delivered from the MPs' seats, a motion that received approval from the National Assembly. Among the critical discussions scheduled for the session was the debate on eliminating the BGN 20/MWh contribution on Russian natural gas import and transit, pending the establishment of EU regulations determining gas origin.
The agenda encompassed deliberations on various pivotal topics, notably including discussions on new nuclear plant units at Kozloduy and readings of the 2024 Public Social Insurance and National Health Insurance Fund budgets. The proposed plans for constructing Units 7 and 8 at Kozloduy, employing AP 1000 technology, entailed a structured timetable, commencing with a BGN 1.5 million capital increase for Kozloduy - New Capacities EAD.
Additionally, the session entailed detailed discussions on the 2024 NHIF and Public Social Insurance bills, outlining anticipated increases in health insurance revenues and monthly social security incomes. These proposed amendments aimed to enhance minimum pension amounts and implement an 11 percent adjustment to existing pensions starting July 1, 2024.
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