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EU Examines Bulgarian Electricy Market

Published: April 12, 2013; 16:44 · (Vindobona)

On request of the Bulgarian Government, an expert group will examine the prices for electricity after the protests. Another issue is the independence of the energy regulator.

EU Examines Bulgarian Electricy Market / Picture: © Wikipedia / Jacques Grießmayer

As a result of the massive protests against the high electricity prices in Bulgaria, the new caretaker government has turned to Brussels. On request, the EU Commission will thoroughly inspect the Bulgarian electriciy and gas market, according to spokeswoman Marlene Holzner of EU Commissioner for Energy, Günther Oettinger. At the end of April, a small investigation group will be sent to Bulgaria in order to discuss the matter with the Ministries and experts. The results should present short-term measures to improve the market situation.

However, the prices of electricity was not the only issue for the experts as they will examine the whole energy market, Holzner stressed. A further issue was the independence of the energy regulator. Energy prices in Bulgaria are regulated and energy regulator DKVER has decreased the prices in March after massive protests had broken out. According to the spokeswoman this had nothing to do with the infringement proceedings due to a lack of the implimentation of the the third energy package which the Commission has initiated against Bulgaria and other countries. The Commission has suggested a penalty for the country as the legislative package has so far hardly been realized.

The investigations of Bulgarian prosecution in the electricity sector remain unaffected by the EU mission in Bulgaria.The prosecution has initiated five criminal proceedings at the beginning of April. No violations whatsoever against the Bulgarian affiliate of Austrian power supplier EVN, which has been investing in Bulgaria since 2004, has been found.

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