October 2021 / Bulgaria

October 14 2021

Bulgarian Prime Minister: We Will Close the Coal Power Plants in 2038 at the Earliest

The Government's Recovery and Sustainability Plan, adopted today, sets out a scenario for the closure of coal-fired power plants with two dates - 2038 and 2040. The next National Assembly will set a closing date based on technical analysis, said Prime Minister Stefan Yanev.

The caretaker Prime Minister commented:

"The mechanism for fixing this date is yet to come, based on technical analysis. What we have given are not three dates, but two - the 38th and 40th year, and we prefer it to be 2040. If it could be after 40 based on this technical analysis, let it be so, we don't mind defending it, but let's not play with dates and scare people, because, including yesterday, people were here, When people need clarity, a perspective in their professional development, it is not good to create a condition for them to remain with the impression that we are hiding something from them and to create almost three, or five, eight dates, an unpredictability On the contrary! We are looking for predictability! We are looking for realization ".

The establishment of a state-owned enterprise to manage the transition in the coal regions is envisaged. It will employ laid-off workers from the Maritza Iztok complex, who will deal with land reclamation.

Deputy Prime Minister Atanas Pekanov reminded that the plan should implement 46 reforms and finance 59 projects. Our country expects to receive BGN 12.9 billion:

"However, which will activate an additional BGN 8.1 billion in investments, which will have an effect on our economy of BGN 21 billion in the next 6 years."

The adoption of the Recovery Plan is a timely act, said caretaker Prime Minister Stefan Yanev.

The document has been worked on intensively in the last 5 months, the Prime Minister stressed before the meeting of the Council of Ministers. The plan was discussed with the 46th National Assembly and with the interested branch organizations.

"The work done is positive. They assess it as positive and we hope that with today's adoption and tomorrow's presentation to the European Commission we will open the way for detailed talks, for its final adoption and for fresh money to go to Bulgarian business, to projects that they will really have an element of recovery of the Bulgarian economy, of its future development in the direction of digitalization, in the direction of improvement and an economy with a higher added product".

Source: Novinite

October 20 2021

Bulgaria’s Government Announces Measures to Compensate Businesses for High Electricity Prices

The Bulgarian government is announcing measures to compensate businesses for high electricity prices. This became possible after companies and workers protested in Sofia, demanding to be compensated for the price of electricity for non-household consumers on the stock exchange, which reached over BGN 480 per megawatt-hour. Among the discussed solutions is the business to receive 75% compensation from the amount representing the difference between the stock exchange price and the estimated price from EWRC.   Source: Novinite
October 14 2021

Bulgaria Adopted Today its Recovery and Sustainability Plan

The Bulgarian Recovery and Sustainability Plan is a program for long-term investment projects and reforms that will make the Bulgarian economy stronger and more competitive, boost it and increase the well-being of its citizens by responding to the challenges of the 21st century. This was stated by the Deputy Prime Minister for Management of European Funds Atanas Pekanov after today's meeting of the Council of Ministers.

The plan, which includes 59 investment projects and 46 reforms, has been approved and is due to be formally sent to the European Commission this Friday. According to Deputy Prime Minister Pekanov, the mechanism is a unique new financial instrument within the European response to the pandemic and economic crisis, from which BGN 12.9 billion will flow into the Bulgarian economy in the coming years.

The Deputy Prime Minister thanked the institutions for the exceptional effort to coordinate all state structures and the tireless work on such a plan, which outlines and clearly sets priorities for the development of the country in the next 6 years.

"I thank the people from the team who stood in the offices upstairs for long hours until we confirm and confirm that the proposed projects and reforms meet European requirements. To thank the ministries and agencies that are or will be beneficiaries of hard work projects, sometimes in a very short time. "

He did not spare criticism of the institutions, which have committed themselves to absolutely blocking any reform efforts, citing the Supreme Judicial Council as an example. "Some institutions like the established order and the status quo. But reforms are the key moment to ensure that our economy and country develop in step with the times. And even if there is resistance to them, even if some reforms are painful, we must do them, confident that we are moving forward,"Pekanov explained.

The plan meets both the priorities of the European institutions to strengthen the environmental and digital transition, and the Cabinet's desire to drive key reforms, including those that previous rulers refused to do, in a desire to avoid any difficult topic, the deputy prime minister added and outlined the key changes from recent months:

• Significant strengthening of the focus on decarbonization;

• Increased support for business, with the introduction of financial instruments and partial replacement of the previously provided grant.

• Increased investment focus in the social sphere (education, healthcare, social support);

• 13 new investment projects;

• Reforms in the field of healthcare, electric mobility, social sphere, rule of law and justice, business environment, energy.

The Deputy Minister also responded to the many criticisms of the delay in the Plan, emphasizing that this was due to both the topics avoided so far and the effort to ensure that the funds would be used in the best way: "We managed to do a number of improvements. This delay has led to results and we hear from various partners - to greater efficiency of the planned projects and reforms, to higher efficiency of these funds."

For example, Pekanov pointed to the intensification of reforms regarding the rule of law, for which he thanked the team of the Ministry of Justice and added: of the future strategy for decarbonisation of the country. In cooperation with the trade unions, in the field of energy we have set a new reform for the State Enterprise for Conversion of Coal Regions. "

Deputy Prime Minister Atanas Pekanov also reminded that the work on the Plan is far from over, as formal negotiations with the Commission are forthcoming, especially on the difficult topic of energy. - to improve results: "This goes through the recognition that in many respects we are not doing well enough - we have one of the most energy-intensive economies in Europe, we are a timid economic innovator, health and education systems need reform, we are criticized with regard to justice. But if we say responsibly today - that's right, but it could be something else, we will be able to move forward. With the hope that the important goals set for our country within the framework of the Plan will be fulfilled and overfulfilled by the next regular and caretaker governments, I look forward and will send the Plan to Brussels tomorrow. All these priorities, reforms and investments - do not accept them as the desires or views of a technocrat. Such is the political reality that we need them to ensure the prosperity and development of our citizens and our country."