Majority of Bulgarians Support Bourgas-Alexandroupolis Pipeline Project - Economy Minister

Majority of Bulgarians Support Bourgas-Alexandroupolis Pipeline Project - Economy Minister

The Ministry of Economy and Energy does opinion polls on a regular basis to look into people's attitudes to important economic developments and the most recent poll shows that more than half of Bulgarians are supportive of the project for building an oil pipeline from the Bulgarian Black Sea port city of Bourgas to Alexandroupolis in Greece, Economy and Energy Minister Peter Dimitrov said here Sunday.

22 per cent of the respondents were against the project. 57 per cent approve the increase of imports of Russian energy sources and 22 per cent are against, BTA reported, citing poll results.
Russia and Bulgaria signed an agreement on the Bourgas-Alexandroupolis project - along with the an agreement on Bulgaria's participation in South Stream and on the construction of an N-plant at Belene - during an official visit to Bulgaria in January of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Inspired by some political parties and environmentalists, Bourgas held a referendum on February 17 to give local people a chance to say "yes" or "no" to the project. Just around 26 per cent went to the polling stations and the outcome was not valid as there is a 50 per cent-plus-one requirement for a valid result.

According to Dimitrov, the Belene project also gets strong public support, 73 per cent. Only 13 per cent of respondents were against. 70 per cent of Bulgarians believe that this country should continue to develop its nuclear energy sector. 81 per cent are against the decommissioning of reactors of the Kozloduy N-plant and 83 per cent would vote in favour of reopening reactors which have already been shut down for early decommissioning (Kozloduy's Unit 3 and 4).

Units 3 and 4 were shut down on the last day of 2006 and a campaign is underway for their "awakening".

Dimitrov further said in Varna that the Cherno More motorway between the cities of Varna and Bourgas is past the feasibility study phase and a public discussion on an environmental impact assessment report is upcoming.

Speaking further about Varna, he said that the Municipality of Varna has no chances to develop further in its present boundaries. According to him, "this country needs to reconsider the size of municipalities".

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