(December 4, 1998) International pressure on the RBRD to take the only-right decision is growing. On December 14, actions will take place in more than 30 capitals all over the world, demanding the Board to reject the loan for the completion of the two proposed nuclear plants for the Ukraine.
(503.4961) WISE Amsterdam -Chances to stop the EBRD-loan are growing, not only because of the economic situation in the Ukraine and the report of the Court of Audit of the European Commission which found out that almost nothing of the financial aid for nuclear safety for the former eastbloc was well-used (see somewhere else in this issue), but also because of the new political winds blowing in Germany. Within the G7, the most important pusher for the completion, this country is crucial.
But, something seems to be changing within the Bank too. In a recent interview with a German financial newspaper, the responsible project manager within the EBRD stated that the Bank is tieing the approvement of the loan not only to the closure of the unsafe Chernobyl nuclear power plants, but to signals for reforms in the energy sector aswell: "It is part of the requirements that the state nuclear operator and borrower Energoatom increases the share of cash payments of its income which is now far under 10%." This is a serious problem for Energoatom. The company has to prove that it is able to return the required financing and the discounts, because otherwise the repayment of the loan is under question. It is also for the first time the EBRD says it will, if anyway, partly finance only one reactor and will "decide later on the other one".
As stressed several times by the leading campaign group against completion, the Bank- watch network, it is crucial to stop funding from the EBRD. If they reject the project it is higly unlikely the additional needed money (from Euratom and G7) will be available. Furthermore, it will become highly unlikely the EBRD will ever consider financing a nuclear project again.
So, it is important to keep pressure on the EBRD on the International Day of Action, December 14, and after that. There is time up till the final EBRD decision, expected somewhere in March 1999. In the next issue reports on the action-day.