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UniCredito faces Europe-wide protests over Bulgarian Nuclear Plant

Dodgy deals
By Urgewald | Around Europe, Oct 13 2006
The UniCredit Group is offering financing for the construction of a new nuclear power plant (NPP) in Bulgaria. The Belene NPP is highly controversial since it is planned in an earthquake zone, close to the Romanian border. Only 12 kilometers away from the project site, 200 people died in an earthquake in 1977, a fact that is completely ignored by Bulgarian authorities. Furthermore, the planning of the project continues to be marred by manipulations that have resulted in an already one-and-a-half year ongoing court struggle over the NPP’s Environmental Impact Assessment.

Two consortia are bidding to construct Belene and UniCredit is involved in both of them: Its German daughter HypoVereinsBank (HVB) is considering financial support for the participation of Siemens/Areva NP in the Russian-led AtomStroyExport consortium. Another daughter, Zivnostenska Banka, is backing the Czech/Russian Skoda Alliance consortium.

In a letter from August 2006, 160 organisations from around the world criticize the Belene NPP as a “recipe for disaster” and call on Unicredit to say No to this controversial project.

Read full text of letter here.

Today environmental organisations will carry their protest directly to UniCredit and its branches all over Europe. Activists will picket local branches of the UniCredit Group banks, such as HVB and Bank Austria/Creditanstalt (BA-CA) and inform their clients about the bank's interest in financing the Belene nuclear power plant. In other countries management will be approached with protest letters. Protest actions will take place, among others, in Bulgaria, Romania, Austria, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovak Republic.

Read press release here.

Check out the pictures of the International Action Day here and on Urgewald website.

Regine Richter

urgewald Website

The UniCredit Group is the result of the merger of nine of Italy's largest banks and the subsequent combination with the German HVB Group and the Italian Capitalia Group.…
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