EC denies Bulgarian Cabinet claims of support over Kozloduy compensations

zx500y290_692968The European Commission denied on March 20 the claims of the Bulgarian Cabinet that it won the backing of EC president Jose Manuel Barroso for the Bulgarian demands for additional compensation for the shutdown of two units at Kozloduy nuclear station.

Earlier in the day, the Government press service said that Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev’s demands were backed by Barroso. “This is a big success for Bulgaria. This support drastically increases the chances of a positive outcome, because there are hundreds of millions of euro at stake,” Stanishev said in the statement.

Bulgaria was required to shut down the two reactors as a pre-condition to joining the EU on January 1 2007. It will have received 550 million euro in compensation by the end of 2009, but Bulgarian authorities have insisted from the start for more funds over a longer period of time.

“I cannot confirm that the president of the European Commission has officially supported this proposal. The president said that the proposal would be examined,” EC spokesperson Mark Gray said, as quoted by Dnevnik daily.

The issue was indeed discussed during Stanishev’s one-day working visit in Brussels earlier this month and again on March 19 at the European Council, Gray said. The Commission would look into the proposal, but the final decision lay with the member states, he said.

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