Bulgaria could pull permits for foreign utility companies

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SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria's energy regulator is moving to revoke the permits of three foreign-controlled companies that supply all the power in this EU country of 7.3 million people.

The regulator said in a statement on Wednesday it will revoke the licenses for the "public supply of electricity" that it had issued to Energo Pro and CEZ, both Czech companies, and to Austria's EVN.

It said the three companies had failed to pay some $226.5 million owed to state power provider NEK by a March 25 deadline. They were given seven days to "cease the violations and remedy their consequences."

The companies have denied any wrongdoing, saying that NEK had failed to repay them money owed for wind and solar power installations.

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