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President in Brussels: The high energy prices affect the whole of Europe and need a concerted action by the EU

2021-10-21 17:26:00

The main topic of today's European Council is the energy crisis in Europe and soaring electricity and natural gas prices. This is a European problem and we must seek a concerted action at a European Union level to protect individuals and businesses. This is what Head of State Rumen Radev told reporters in Brussels ahead of the European Council meeting where he is representing Bulgaria.

The President stressed the importance and necessity of short-term and long-term measures proposed by the European Commission to mitigate the effect of rising prices on the EU energy market. "The most important short-term measures, however, which concern compensating individuals and businesses, tax breaks, and state aid, are left entirely to the responsibility of the member states and are complied with their financial capabilities. Bulgaria has already reacted and I expect the government to urgently announce even more significant measures to support all non-household consumers," Rumen Radev said.

In the Head of State's words, an important measure for Bulgaria, which is currently missing, is the reduction of greenhouse gas emission prices, which already exceed the levels estimated by the European Commission for 2030. Another option is for the funds raised from selling emissions to go towards crisis measures.

Rumen Radev stressed that it is important that the prices on the energy exchange should be transparent and profiteering should not be allowed. "Bulgaria produces enough energy for its market and exports energy. We are part of the EU and these exports cannot be stopped, but this affects prices in Bulgaria. That is why we will insist that the European Commission intervenes vigorously with controls on the exchanges and measures to prevent profiteering," Rumen Radev underlined.

The President said that Bulgaria, together with other countries, including France, will urgently insist that nuclear energy and energy production from natural gas be recognised and included in the list of environmentally sustainable economic activities. "In Bulgaria we rely on our nuclear sector as a major source of affordable, cheap and reliable energy. We also praise the medium-term measures, especially for the easing of permits for renewable energy and for solutions to the big problem of how to store renewable energy," Rumen Radev said.

The President stressed that Bulgaria strongly supports the transition to a climate-neutral economy, but it should be smooth, sustainable, balanced and friendly for both the individuals and the economy. "We must look for solutions that will guarantee this sustainability. I will insist, along with several other countries, that an analysis be carried out on the link between the current energy crisis and the adopted Fit for 55 package," the President said. For this country, drastically reducing emissions would mean accelerating the process of shutting down traditional baseload plants without the readiness to replace them with new ones to match modern technology. "Regrettably, in December 2020, the previous government made it possible to take this course and now we must spare no effort to minimise the damage to Bulgaria," Rumen Radev concluded, adding that Bulgaria must implement new solutions in its energy sector and accelerate them, but in no case should it allow a risky implementation of this transition. 

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