Bulgargaz-BOTAS deal report

site.btaUPDATED BSP to Refer Bulgargaz-BOTAS Deal to Bulgarian Prosecuting Magistracy, EPPO

BSP to Refer Bulgargaz-BOTAS Deal to Bulgarian Prosecuting Magistracy, EPPO
BSP to Refer Bulgargaz-BOTAS Deal to Bulgarian Prosecuting Magistracy, EPPO
Left to right: BSP members Borislav Gutsanov, Korneliya Ninova (party leader), and Dragomir Stoynev (BTA Photo)

Speaking to reporters in Parliament on Friday, Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) leader Korneliya Ninova said that BSP will refer the deal between the Bulgarian state-owed natural gas supplier Bulgargaz and the Turkish energy company BOTAS both to the Bulgarian prosecuting magistracy and the European Public Prosecutor's Office. The briefing presented the report of the parliamentary ad hoc committee looking into the Bulgargaz-BOTAS deal, signed on January 3, 2023 in Sofia.

Ninova added that BSP will seek an undertaking from state institutions to pursue remedies against the individuals (ministers, PM) who signed the contract. "All those who made such decisions and put their signatures to such damage to Bulgaria… it is not the people who should pay, but the government who should bring them to court. Besides criminal liability, if possible, they should also bear financial liability and pay for their theft and the damage they are causing to Bulgaria," the BSP leader said.

BSP MP Borislav Gutsanov, who is a member of the ad hoc committee, said that the natural gas transmission fee under the Bulgargaz-BOTAS deal is USD 9.10/MWh, while in Greece it is EUR 4.50/MWh, which is about twice lower. Gutsanov added that this contract was only agreed by 9 ministries at the time, and not by all of them. He said that the contract also stipulates that joint supplies will be made with the Turkish company as of 2026. "We will not only use the [gas] transmission, but Turkiye will actually be the supplier," Gutsanov said, adding that the matter has already been referred to the European Commission.

"In order to cancel this contract, the price Bulgaria has to pay is USD 2.177 billion", he stressed. BSP’s parliamentary group will demand the entire management of Bulgargaz to be replaced and will also insist that the new Bulgargaz management hold talks with the Turkish company to "normalise" the terms of the contract.

Dragomir Stoynev of the Socialists said that the European Commission is currently looking into the Bulgargaz-BOTAS deal. "This contract is a chaos and was signed without the knowledge of the Bulgarian Energy Holding," he noted.

/KK/

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By 05:47 on 18.05.2024 Today`s news

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