New Wave of Protest Rallies Looms in Bulgaria
Bulgarians have been staging for 11 days large-scale protests across the country against high utility bills and the model of ruling the country, leading to clashes with riot police with many injuries and vandalism. Photo by BGNES
Despite the resignation of the Bulgarian government, protest rallies are scheduled again across the country.
The demonstrators, who shouted for days "Borisov Out," and "Resignation," say the move will not do anything to fulfill their other demands to tame the skyrocketing utility bills, and beyond that – immediate summon of a Great General Assembly, new Constitution, a majority vote, and 50% civil participation in the regulators.
They even invited Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, to join them at the rally that should be taking place Sunday.
In Sofia, the demonstrators are gathering once again Wednesday evening at the emblematic Eagles' Bridge intersection in the hearth of the city. The intersection became the scene of bloody clashes between them and riot police Tuesday evening. Tonight, the participants plan to lay flowers on the pavement.
Earlier Wednesday, Borisov made the stunning announcement he was resigning, grounding the decision on not wanting to see blood on streets and fences around the building of the Parliament. He said he was returning the power to the people who elected him in the summer of 2009.
The breaking news about Borisov's resignation came in the aftermath of large-scale protests across the country against high utility bills, leading to clashes with riot police with many injuries and vandalism.
Meanwhile, after the announcement, supporters of Borisov spontaneously organized themselves on Facebook and about 200 gathered in front of the building of the Parliament.
The Bulgarian news agency BGNES reports that about 30 of them remain in the vicinity and are being guarded by 20 police cars and scores of policemen.
A large-scale meeting "for" Borisov is, however, to take place Thursday, around and after the time the Parliament is to vote on the resignation of the government of his Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB.
A number of Bulgarian online media outlets have reported that all State employees have been prompted to attend during their work hours and have received short text messages calling on them to join the rally.
Borisov is quoted saying his decision to resign is final.
Meanwhile, the Sofia police have issued an official statement asking all demonstrators to refrain from violence. Citizens are also reminded to use the emergency 112 hotline to alert about people instigating escalation of tensions and exhibiting aggressive behavior.
"Policemen are not seeking confrontation. Their goal is to preserve the safety and the health of people," the statement reads.
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