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Bulgaria: Prime Minister Sacks Electricity Chiefs

Sofia, 27 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - Bulgaria's interim Prime Minister Stefan Sofiansky today sacked the heads of the National Electric Company, accusing them of overspending and failing to halt soaring energy costs.

Energy Minister Georgy Stoilov said an audit of the company will begin immediately.

Electricity prices in Bulgaria have increased more than 30 times in the past two years under the former Socialist government. Our Sofia correspondent reports new electricity prices will be announced again on April 1, with hikes somewhere between 30 to 35 percent. But Sofiansky has said this could be the last increase provided the stabilization of the economy goes according to the plan already coordinated with international financial institutions.

Our correspondent also says the government promised today to raise the salaries of budget-sphere workers by as much as 70 percent. The aim is to raise their average salary to an equivalent of $65-$70 from the current $20-$30 dollars.