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Bulgarian miners march to protect coal industry

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SOFIA, Oct 13 (Reuters) – About 1,000 miners and employees from Bulgaria’s largest coal-fired energy plant marched in Sofia on Wednesday to protect their jobs and to urge the federal government to assist their industry.

Demonstrators referred to as on the Cabinet to assure it could not rush to shut mines and energy vegetation on the Maritsa East lignite coal complicated in southern Bulgaria, regardless of a European Union push to decarbonise the bloc’s economic system by 2050.

“There should be green, clean energy, but time is needed for investment first,” mentioned Spaska Ruskova, 58, who works for a mining gear firm.

“It will probably happen for our grandchildren, but it cannot happen now, because hundreds of families are destined to lose their jobs and doomed to high power bills,” she mentioned.

Bulgaria wants to set a date when it is going to section out energy technology from coal if it needs to draw on EU restoration funds and meet the bloc’s local weather objectives.

The interim authorities has mentioned it is going to current its plan for EU help to Brussels on Friday. It will defend its goal of closing coal-fired vegetation by 2038 or 2040 – largely in step with the miners’ calls for.

Environmental group Greenpeace has demanded that the polluting vegetation be closed by 2030, urging Bulgaria to concentrate on renewable vitality and offering new jobs within the coal areas.

Protesters say early closure of the vegetation, which produce 40% of Bulgaria’s electrical energy, would lead to energy shortages and rising vitality prices.

Some 10,000 individuals work on the Maritsa East complicated, whose lignite coal deposits are wealthy in sulphur blamed for poor air high quality and respiratory illnesses.

Trade unions say the complicated supplies livelihoods for greater than 100,000 individuals within the European Union’s poorest member and have vowed to sustain stress on the federal government that’s to fashioned after a Nov. 14 normal election.

Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Giles Elgood

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