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Ahead of Bulgaria’s forthcoming referendum on whether to allow construction to resume at the Belene nuclear power plant (27 January), prime minister Boyko Borisov has made a surprising shift, calling on his cabinet and Bulgarian voters to vote “no”. The referendum to authorise the resumption of construction of a new reactor at the Belene nuclear power plant was announced by the opposition socialist party last October. Faced with rising costs and public protests against the construction in a high-risk earthquake zone, the government had put the project on hold in early 2012. Initially, the government was to campaign for a “yes” in favour of the construction of more nuclear power plants in Bulgaria.
European Greens have expressed support for the Bulgarian Greens (Zelenite) and those campaigning for a “no” vote and Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms will visit Bulgaria from 23-25 January in support of the “no” campaign. Commenting ahead of her visit, Rebecca Harms said: “The sensible about-turn by prime minister Borisov in calling for a vote against nuclear new build in Bulgaria is a welcome surprise. It is not enough to reject the future expansion of nuclear power however: the decommissioning of current nuclear power plants is also an essential step for safety in Bulgaria. Bulgaria must opt out of this high-risk technology and enter into a secure, future-oriented energy strategy. This means focusing on renewables and efficiency, creating new jobs through technical innovation, rather than risky old nuclear plants.”

 

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