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Bulgaria prosecutors propose revoking CEZ power licence

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Tue, 19 Feb 2013 10:48 GMT
Author: Reuters
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(Inserts "country" in place of "company" in paragraph 2)

* Bulgarians protested against high electricity prices

* Government sacked finance minister who controlled spending

* CEZ shares fall 1.8 percent

SOFIA, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Bulgarian prosecutors want to remove Czech company CEZ's licence for power distribution in the Balkan country, an official said on Tuesday, after nationwide protests against electricity prices.

Tens of thousands of people have demonstrated across Bulgaria, the European Union's poorest country, and demanded that the government renationalise power distributors CEZ, Czech firm Energo-Pro and Austria's EVN.

"As far as the systematic violations of the separate district power distribution companies are concerned, we came to the conclusion there is a need to make a proposal ... for revoking the CEZ licence," Sofia prosecutor Georgi Kamburov told reporters.

On Monday the government, whose support is slipping before a July election, sacked Finance Minister Simeon Djankov, who was unpopular for keeping a tight rein on spending, but protests continued regardless.

CEZ shares in Prague extended losses after the news, falling as much as 1.8 percent to a three-week low. (Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova and Angel Krasimirov; Writing by Sam Cage; editing by Jane Baird)

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