site.btaUPDATED Reactions Following Meeting between Government Officials, MPs, Protesting Energy Workers
Following the meeting between Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov, ministers, MPs and trade union representatives, miners and energy workers, politicians from parliamentary parties commented on the discussion and the agreement that was reached.
GERB-UDF floor leader Desislava Atanasova said that “a solution has been found”. “What is most important is that we found a solution. It turned out that we are serious partners in the non-coalition (referring to the parties, supporting the government), because in difficult moments we can rely on each other”, she stressed. Atanasova said that the National Assembly could reaffirm the agreement signed at the meeting through a declaration. This could happen by voting at a plenary session, with the possibility of it happening on Thursday or at an extraordinary session, which must be convened by National Assembly Chair Rosen Zhelyazkov, she explained. Speaking about the territorial just transition plans, Atanasova said that communication with the European Commission is yet to begin. “We still have to adopt several bills under the Recovery and Resilience Plan”, she added.
GERB-UDF MP Temenuzhka Petkova, former minister of energy (2014-2017), said that the trade unions had six demands and all of those demands were practically met. “We managed to reach a consensus on each of the topics”, she stressed.
Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria Co-leader Kiril Petkov told journalists that the government did what was most adequate: it submitted the Territorial Just Transition Plans on September 30 and started detailed negotiations on how to modify them so they can work best for Bulgaria's energy sector. He said that the territorial plans can be supplemented up to three months from their submission in a way that will be adequate both for the Bulgarian energy sector and Brussels. Petkov pointed out that Tuesday’s meeting in Parliament proved that the government can negotiate with the social partners and achieve results. “Denkov really showed leadership, and we, as political parties, backed him up,” Petkov added.
Movement for Rights and Freedoms MP Delyan Peevski said he believe the protests will stop now, as the ruling majority has done its job, working for the people. "That's the most important thing for me, an agreement was reached," he added.
There Is Such a People floor leader Toshko Yordanov said that the protesters’ second demand – to keep the energy capacities – was formulated in Tuesday’s agreement as a commitment of the Council of Ministers to negotiate with the European Commission, and not a commitment to keep the capacities. In these negotiations, Europe will say no, the Bulgarian power holders will say that they got turned down, and the capacities will be closed, Yordanov commented. According to him, the third demand was also changed in the agreement to the point where instead of saying that the capacities will be kept until 2038, the text does not mention any year and “capacities” but the elaboration of a draft energy strategy. During the breaks, the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria changed the direction of the talks and signed the agreement, and so did part of the private companies in the sector. The Maritsa complex representatives refused, so Trakia motorway will remain blocked, Yordanov said.