World Bank Pledges Support for Bulgaria's Energy Reform

Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister in charge of economic policy Ekaterina Zaharieva. Photo BGNES

The World Bank is ready to help Bulgaria reform its energy sector, the Regional Development Ministry said  on Thursday.

The Bank will support the government in drafting systemic measures for balancing Bulgaria's energy system, the ministry said in a statement following a meeting between Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister in charge of economic policy Ekaterina Zaharieva and senior World Bank officials in Sofia.

Zaharieva, who also is Regional Development Minister, met earlier on Thursday with the recently appointed new World Bank country manager for Bulgaria Antony Thomspon and Mamta Murthi, World Bank Country Director for Central Europe and the Baltic Countries.

Energy is of utmost importance to Bulgaria and the country has the World Bank's support, Mamta Murthi said.

The World Bank will provide expert advice to Bulgaria's energy ministry and energy regulator DKEVR relating to instruments for analysis and long-term decision making in order to considerably improve DKEVR's administrative capacity and make sector policies transparent and market oriented,

At the meeting, Ekaterina Zaharieva said the main task of Bulgaria's newly founded Energy Board is to propose adequate solutions for coping with a deficit of BGN 3 B in the energy sector that threatens the sector with collapse.

In May 2013 the World Bank said in a report that lack of transparency in the management of state-owned companies, a widespread sense of corruption and an insufficiently independent regulator to control the entire energy system are hampering reform in the sector.

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