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06.02.2018 16:24
Trade Unions Withdrew from Their Position after Asking the Minister of Energy Temenuzhka Petkova to Resign

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The Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA), the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) and the Confederation of Employers Industrialists in Bulgaria (KRIB) insisted that the Minister of Energy Temenuzhka Petkova resigns, the organisations said in a statement yesterday.
According to the statement, minister Petkova, in her interview on the Bulgarian National Television, spoke about a free electricity market, which cannot be influenced by the state, conveniently omitting the fact that on the same free market only two state-owned companies participate through an exchange, also owned by the state.
BICA, BIA and KRIB, which represent over 80% of Bulgarian business, strongly rejects such behavior by a member of the executive power. “This behavior affirms our decision to refuse to participate in another futile meeting with the Minister of Energy, to refer to the Commission for Protection of Competition in relation to electricity prices, and organise a major protest against the outrages in the energy sector, which will take place on 28 February”, the statement reads.
“We insist that Temenuzhka Petkova resigns because of untruths, manipulations, her inability to cope with energy sector’s problems and, in particular, because of the abandoned reforms”, the trade unions added.
Today, another employer organisation, the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), has also decided to the support the position that Petkova should resign. If there are no new steps by the government, it is a matter of time that the BCCI requests energy minister Temenuzhka Petkova’s resignation, BCCI President Tsvetan Simeonov said. In his words, the exchange is not functioning properly, explaining that if electricity traders are allowed to buy the few quantities offered on it, it is clear that “holding all the electricity, they can formally dictate the prices”.
According to Simeonov, no measures have been taken in relation to another weakness of the Bulgarian energy market – the low interconnectivity with external suppliers. Experts estimate that this is around 7%, which is insufficient to allow a party to resort to external electricity suppliers, if he is not satisfied by the products on the internal market. We have suggested clear measures and I am confident that there will be a dialogue as soon as possible, Tsvetan Simeonov underlined.
Later today, the trade unions withdrew their request for energy minister Temenuzhka Petkova’s resignation, following a meeting of the unions with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov at the Council of Ministers, BGNES informed. We are pleased with the dialogue and it will not be necessary to ask for Petkova’s resignations, said Tsvetan Simeonov. We have set a two-week deadline after the meeting with the PM and his team for the legislative changes to begin and there will be no protest, said the Chairman of KRIB, Kiril Domuschiev. He added that the discussions were productive, the legislative changes will bring long-term benefits and all measures, proposed by Bulgarian business, were agreed on.
The Chairperson of the parliamentary Energy Committee, Delyan Dobrev also rated the meeting, led by PM Borissov, highly, saying that major reforms in the energy sector were negotiated. He listed four major changes.
The first one is related to legislative changes which will bring feed-in-tariff producers by introducing contracts for difference to the free market rather than selling their energy to the National Electricity Company.
The second measure is related to the companies, which will offer energy profiles on the free market as 12-hour day and night profiles.
The third change refers to the so called American plants. “There is a communication with the European Commission on this issue about the termination of those contracts. They will sell their electric energy on the free market after an agreement is reached”, Dobrev noted.
And the fourth change concerns the distribution system operators which will start buying technical losses on a free market, rather than a regulated quote by the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission. Delyan Dobrev clarified that these alterations are going to almost fully liberalise the free market, without impacting households. He explained that, for now, this model does not envision changes to the regulated market for households.

TAGS: employer organisations | trade unions | Temenuzhka Petkova | Minister of Energy | resignation | request | protest | withdrawal | BICA | BIA | KRIB | BCCI | Tsvetan Simeonov | Kiril Domuschiev | free market | Delyan Dobrev | reforms | NEC | feed-in-tariffs 

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20.03.2022  Teodor Bobochikov, Managing Partner, V-Ridium
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