« Protesters from the mining and energy sectors held a protest in Sofia on Tuesday, calling on the government to rethink its plans for the EU-backed decarbonisation of the economy.
Footage shows the demonstration, called by the KNSB and Podkrepa unions, with workers gathered in front of the St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Some are seen pulling a car with ropes, while banners included slogans such as ‘Governors, don’t sell our future’ and ‘Miners are future tailors, shoemakers and receptionists after 2026’.
Earlier this year, lawmakers already agreed to roll back plans for a phase-out of coal-fired power stations, amid huge protests.
According to media reports, under Bulgaria’s Recovery and Resilience Plan, a phase-out was anticipated by 2038, while EU commitments include a 55 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030.
Unions claim up to 20,000 jobs in the regions of Stara Zagora, Pernik and Kyustendil are at risk, while workers are calling for an investment in lower emissions technology to keep coal as an energy resource.
The EU’s Green Deal package guarantees hundreds of millions of euros to help countries make the transition towards carbon neutrality, although this is only accessible if the government provides a detailed spending plan by the end of the year. »