ČEZ could lose Bulgarian distribution licence
The Bulgarian operation of the Czech state-controlled energy firm ČEZ has run into serious problems after Bulgaria’s energy regulator launched proceedings to revoke its licence to operate in the country. The decision came after nationwide protests against high electricity prices centred on the Czech company which controls around 40 percent of Bulgaria’s electricity distribution market. On Wednesday, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov announced his cabinet was stepping down after 14 protesters were injured in clashes with the police. Ilin Stanev from Bulgaria’s leading business daily Dnevnik says that the threat to cancel ČEZ’s licence is for the most part politically motivated.
What do you mean? There have been accusations that ČEZ’s tenders in Bulgaria were not transparent.
Today, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov announced his government was stepping down. How is it related to the issue of high electricity prices?
“To some extent it is. People started protesting against electricity bills but the protest turned anti-government, and over the last couple days, they turned violent, especially yesterday when a couple of people were injured. We think the violence was driven by someone who wants the government to go, but anyway the government in the end could not withstand the situation.”
Do you think ČEZ will in the end lose its licence? It’s probably difficult to predict because the regulator is an independent body but do you think ČEZ’s licence is set to be revoked?