site.btaUPDATED Unions Protest Closure of Coal Plants, MPs Join Them
The Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) and the Podkrepa Confederation of Labour are holding a protest in defence of Bulgaria's energy security outside the Parliament building in central Sofia Thursday. They are rallying to express their dissatisfaction with the commitment made in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan for reduction of carbon emissions in the energy sector by 40% by the end of 2025, which will lead to closure of the country's coal-fired power plants.
MPs briefly joined the rally, taking a break from a debate on a declaration that demands from the government to renegotiate the energy chapter in the Recovery Plan.
Over 500 workers in the Maritsa East 2 coal-fired power plant arrived in the capital to take part in the protest under the slogan "Let's protect Bulgaria's energy security".
The trade unions demand that the Council of Ministers negotiate a cancellation of this commitment with the European Commission.
This demand was also included in a declaration that the trade unions put out several months ago.
They call for guarantees that coal-fired power plants will be preserved at least until 2038.
Due to the protest, traffic is disrupted in some parts of the city centre.
According to the leader of the CITUB chapter at Maritsa East 2, Deyan Dyakov, the protest's main demands concern the renegotiation in the energy chapter of the Recovery Plan and the abolition of the commitment for a 40% reduction of carbon emissions from coal power. In his words, if their demands are not heard on Thursday, they are ready for a one-week protest in central Sofia.
He said that the commitment to slash carbon emission by 40% by 2025 is "suicidal" as it means closing down coal plants in a very short timeframe.