Borissov: EIA of Bourgas-Alexandroupolis Cannot Be Positive

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Borissov: EIA of Bourgas-Alexandroupolis Cannot Be Positive

Bulgaria expects the international environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the Bourgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline but there is no way of it being positive as the site overlaps areas in the Natura 2000 network, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov told the media on Saturday.

Borissov said that at a meeting with the ambassadors of EU member states on Friday he had familiarized them with the reasons for this country's withdrawal from the Bourgas-Alexandropoulis oil pipeline project. The government press office, however, said that so far Bulgaria has not taken any official action to withdraw from the Bourgas-Alexandroupolis project. Bulgaria will wait for the official environmental impact assessment, Borissov was quoted as saying to the diplomats.

Borissov admitted that if Bulgaria terminates the Bourgas-Alexandroupolis agreement unilaterally, it will have to pay penalties, that is why it is waiting for the international environmental impact assessment.

"Given that the site of the project overlaps with Natura 2000 areas, I do not see any expert who would guarantee with their signatures that there is no danger of an environmental catastrophe there or that the environmental network will remain intact," the prime minister observed.

"To me it is important what Bulgarians think, what our citizens want," Borissov said in Blagoevgrad on Saturday. This was also part of his reply to a journalist's question whether some reaction is expected from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Borissov said that responding to a question by Greek Ambassador in Sofia Danae-Madeleine Koumanakou at the Friday meeting, he pointed to the undoubted fact that no one of the three parties to the agreement has made any provisions for the Bourgas-Alexandroupolis project in its budget and that nothing is done towards its implementation.

Commenting on the Belene nuclear power plant project, Borissov said that "if we find financing, the scheme is clear: we start it tomorrow. What we have now is 2,000 million spent and a large puddle."

Kristian Vigenin MEP of the Left said in Gabrovo on Saturday that the suspension of two big infrastructure projects such as Bourgas-Alexandroupolis and the Belene N-plant is "insanity at a time of crisis." In his words, the countries in Europe try to finance such projects even by taking loans and running deficits but "we in Bulgaria are doing just the opposite."

Source: BTA

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