Bulgarian Right Wing Queries Belene NPP Referendum

Bulgaria’s right-leaning Blue Coalition has asked the Constitutional Court to pass judgment on the upcoming referendum on the future of the Belene nuclear power plant project, the Sofia News Agency reported on Saturday.

The coalition, which has 14 MPs, insists parliament may not schedule a national referendum on a matter they see as inadmissible under the Direct Participation of Citizens in State and Local Power Act.

Under the Act, referendums may not be held on issues such as taxation, social security, and the national budget, among others.

Bulgaria’s center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB, government scrapped the Belene project in March 2012, declaring it economically unfeasible. The pro-Belene Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, then launched a petition for a referendum on the Russian-Bulgarian project.

The referendum is expected to take place within the next three months.

Discussions renewed recently on the abandoned project, with Rosatom subsidiary Atomstroyexport upping its claim against Bulgaria’s National Electricity Co. to 1 billion euros and a mysterious investment fund emerging with an offer to take over the project.

The Blue Coalition says it will hold a roundtable with NGOs involved in the energy sector to debate the legality of such a referendum.


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