Pavel Vacek: Bulgaria's Politicised Regulation Has Devalued Czech Investment

Photo: Embassy of the Czech Republic in Bulgaria

Novinite has interviewed H.E. Pavel Vacek, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Bulgaria, on various bilateral issues, but mostly on issues in Bulgaria's energy sector and the repercussions they have on Czech companies.

Mr Vacek has been his country's envoy to Sofia since April 2011. Prior to his Sofia assignment, he was Director General EU Affairs at the Czech Foreign Ministry (2009-2010).

Born in 1962, he has pursued his diplomatic career since 1984. Within this time he has held a number of offices, first at Czechoslovakia's and after 1992 at the Czech Republic's Foreign Ministry.

Between 2004 and 2007, he led the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)'s mission to Albania.

Mr Vacek, earlier this month Bulgaria's Energy Minister announced inspections were due at all electricity distribution companies, days after the competition watchdog accused CEZ of abuse of dominant position. Experts from the ministry have also discovered irregularities at Energo-PRO, another Czech company, including double invoices. How does the Czech Republic look at these developments? Do you think the companies are being mistreated?

The Czech problem in Bulgaria is the concentration of the EUR 1 B investments into the energy sector, particularly into distribution, where the increasingly politicised regulation has devalued the investments. Isn't it absurd? The same companies which are being tarred and feathered here perform without problems elsewhere: Can you see any debates about monthly electricity bills in Czechia or Austria? There are none... as there are no monthly bills - people pay a flat monthly or quarterly rate in advance and the balance is settled annually. Many clients in my...

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