Forces: December 4, 1999


The EU summit on 10-11 December will see the start of membership talks for Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Romania, and Malta. Each will have its own problems and challenges. Bulgaria gets 45% of its electricity from a huge nuclear complex with four 440mw and two 1000mw reactors. The EU wants these shut down (the 440s by next year, the 1000s by 2005; Bulgaria wants to keep the 440s in service until 2005 and the 1000s until 2010) and has threatened to block any discussion of Bulgarian membership if Sofia does not agree. The Bulgarians have bluntly refused, but recently said they could meet the EU deadline if given enough cash to build an alternative power source. --Stephen V Cole


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