Socialists, VMRO Insist on Referendum on Nuclear Energy

Socialists, VMRO Insist on Referendum on Nuclear Energy

The opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the right VMRO party will insist on holding a referendum on the future of Bulgarian nuclear power generation, it emerged after talks between the two parties.

The talks were initiated by BSP, following a recent decision of the Bulgarian government to abandon the Belene nuclear power plant project.

The two parties agreed to set up a committee of prominent public figures to organize a campaign for the collection of the signatures needed to hold a referendum, the state-run Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) reported. It would aim to collect 500,000 signatures in three months, BSP leader Sergei Stanishev said.

On Thursday, the Parliament announced that no-confidence motion against the centre-right government over its decision to halt the construction of a nuclear power plant will not be put to the vote as it is not backed by enough MPs.

In late March Bulgaria decided to halt the construction of a second nuclear plant in the country. The project, launched in the late 1980s, had been frozen for nearly two decades before Bulgaria hired Russia's Atomstroyexport in 2008 to build the 2,000 megawatt plant. However, little progress was made due to pricing disagreements between Bulgaria and Russia.

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