The leader of GERB Boyko Borissov promised the protesting miners that the coal plants will work until 2038, and whoever decides to quit will receive a compensation of 36 salaries.

“Finance Minister Asen Vassilev confirmed to me that the coal plants will operate until 2038, anyone who wants to quit will be paid 36 salaries, there is this possibility, the finance minister guarantees,” Borissov said on the sidelines of the parliament, quoted by BTA.

Yesterday and today, workers in enterprises related to coal mining went on protests in different parts of the country, blocking road arteries, demanding to keep their jobs. Today the government must accept the territorial plans for a just transition of the three coal regions – Stara Zagora, Pernik and Kyustendil, in order to send them to Brussels at the latest by tomorrow, when the deadline is. Bulgaria remained the only European country that has not yet submitted its revised plans for reforms and investments – a mandatory condition for continued participation in the program.

On September 19, miners and energy workers working in the three regions, organized by the two largest trade unions, protested in Sofia due to fear that they will lose their jobs as a result of a reduction in coal mining. The protest was ended after the government reached an agreement with a document to make concrete commitments to all those working in mines and coal plants from the day of the protest until 2038. They received a promise by October 15 to create a coalfield conversion enterprise, which would have a commitment to provide employment for those released from mines and plants. The next step is the creation of the “Maritsa-Iztok” industrial park.

Although in one of his statements on the sidelines today, Borissov said that the territorial plans were not shown to him, or at least he did not see them, the government published the projects already at the beginning of August. They envisage a number of measures both with the preservation of jobs and the development in the three regions of modern technologies related to the production, distribution and use of green hydrogen and other new energy sources, which may be different and complementary to coal plants.