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The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), which will probably lead the next government after the expected snap elections, are considering the re-nationalisation of the electricity distribution subsidiary from CEZ, Bulgarian shadow minister of energy Javor Kujumdziev said in an interview with Czech daily Lidove noviny.
Bulgaria's energy regulator this month launched a process to strip CEZ of its licences in the Balkan country, accusing it of evading public procurement law among other malpractices. The move was seen as a response to widespread protests across Bulgaria demanding the government re-nationalise power distributors CEZ, Czech firm Energo-Pro and Austria's EVN because of high electricity bills. The scale of the protests forced the centre-right government of Boyko Borisov to resign last week, and continued on Sunday.
Meanwhile, CEZ continues to talk tough, saying October 22 it will defend its power distribution licences in Bulgaria by all legal means. It argues that public outrage against high utility bills could only be eased by fully liberalising the electricity market, which the European Commission has ordered the country to carry out several times in the past.
"The launch of the process to revoke our licences is inexplicable to us and we will do everything possible to prove that there are no grounds for such a move," CEZ Bulgaria regional manager Petr Dokladal said in a statement. "We have always worked in line with the laws and regulations and will continue to do so."
The Bulgarian regulator has given CEZ a week to comment on the process, and indicated there was room for compromise if the company could prove the malpractices could be repaired. It will not rule on the licences before April 16.
Bulgaria still has one of the lowest electricity prices for households in the 27-member EU despite a 13-percent increase in prices last July. But with average monthly salaries of just 400 euros and pensions around 100 euros, electricity costs - especially during the winter - have proved unbearable for many in the country.
Related News in English
Povezane vesti na srpskom
Συναφείς Ειδήσεις στα Ελληνικά