The 30% increase in natural gas is significant and can be described as surprising. This is how the Minister of Energy Alexander Nikolov commented to BNT on the situation with prices. Asked whether it is possible to reach a crisis in the country and whether the current situation can be overcome, he said: "We will certainly cope. The situation is difficult. There is a serious context at EU level - markets, market situation, prices, quotations of both energy resources and inefficiencies within our system, but we will certainly cope", he assured.
Markets will become increasingly integrated at European level. This is very clear in electricity prices. The same is true for natural gas prices. For businesses, the context is that prices in Bulgaria are significantly lower than in other European markets and this is true not only for the month of January, but also for several months back in time.
He acknowledged that some businesses are certainly in a difficult situation, but we are all in that situation.
Nikolov said the government is in constant correspondence with employers' representatives, which lasted until late afternoon on December 31st.
"The communication will continue actively on the part of both the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Finance, as you can see from the Prime Minister," the Minister of Energy added.
As for the 30% ceiling to offset the costs of non-household consumers for the electricity they use, which businesses want to drop, Alexander Nikolov said that there will be a ceiling and restrictions, at least because there must be predictability for costs, in addition, the business must have shared responsibility.
The ceiling for December as compensation will not be dropped. The structure of the ceiling for January is subject to discussion with business representatives, but there will be a ceiling. If there is no ceiling, there is a risk of speculation, he said.
According to him, the compensation should continue until the markets calm down and until it becomes clear that the business in Bulgaria is in a better condition than its competitors abroad.
Nikolov also commented on the relations with the EWRC. "What really happened to us is that 10-15 minutes after we were elected as a government, there was the first decision of the EWRC. Then there was a decision of the EWRC, which was subjected to a lot of controversy by all - business, electricity producers, then came the decision on January 1, related to the price of natural gas.As a series of events, if we are out of the system, it seems strange.About whether it affects the regulator, the only thing I will say is that the Prime Minister has not met in any way with any member or with the Chairman of the EWRC. "
Thus, he rejected the thesis that he has an influence on the EWRC. Nikolov said that he had talked with EWRC Chairman Ivan Ivanov and described the meeting with him as productive. "As long as their regulatory framework is quite narrow, they are trying to comply with it and trying to comply with it. Whether a decision is rational is another matter."
The other big topic for Bulgargaz was commented by the Minister of Energy, who said that "principal and direct control over Bulgargaz is exercised by BEH and the Board of Directors of the specific company."
In his role as Minister of Energy, Nikolov instructed BEH to carry out all necessary checks on policies and compliance with Bulgargaz.
Alexander Nikolov also touched on the projects related to diversification in Bulgaria, as he was adamant that there "there is a relative desire to make Bulgarians dependent. When a certain type of fuel is bought from one place, it is clear who the producer is. When transferred to elsewhere, it is clear who the user is. When investment and sales are made by specific companies, it is clear who gets the profit margin. "
In conclusion, Nikolov said that at the political level there is a lot of attitude on the part of the President of Azerbaijan - Mr. Aliyev, as well as on the part of the Minister of Economy and the Minister of Energy.