No worries over Bulgaria pipeline talk

Athens is actively following, but not particularly worried about, the statements coming from candidate members of the government in Bulgaria regarding the possible cancellation of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project. The issue surfaced following statements by Rosen Plevneliev, a top official of the GERB party that won the recent elections in Bulgaria and a candidate for the post of regional development minister. He told Bulgarian radio: «We have seen no reasonable basis for the project of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline and have no intention to realize plans that serve no purpose.» A Bulgarian news agency also suggested that GERB leader Boyko Borisov has asked outgoing Bulgarian Energy and Economy Minister Petar Dimitrov to terminate all work completed to date on large-scale energy projects. Development Ministry sources in Greece believe that it would be exceptionally difficult, if not impossible, to cancel the project, and they attribute the statements to party politics, as the environmental arguments against the contract to link the Bulgarian and Greek ports had been extensively used by GERB in the runup to the Bulgarian elections. Yesterday the Development Ministry sent to Parliament the main clauses of the bill for the implementation of the pipeline in order to further accelerate its construction.