Mass Protests Spell Death of Bulgaria Ruling Party - Analyst
The mass protests that swept Bulgaria on Sunday mark the end of the ruling party term, a prominent analyst claims.
"We should remember that date – February 17. This is when the ruling GERB party died," political scientist Evgeniy Daynov told BGNES news agency.
More than 100 000 protesters joined rallies across Bulgaria against electricity monopolies and the government, according to unconfirmed reports.
"Back in the summer, during the occupation of Eagle Bridge, I forecast that there will be protests going on a daily basis by the end of the ruling party term and that at some point they will come together. And that's what happened today.
This is in fact a protest against the oligarchic model of GERB ruling, which is nothing more than plundering the state to the benefit of its oligarchs," Daynov said.
"The rallies escalated into anti-governmental protests calling for the resignation of the cabinet. The best example is what happened in Varna, where police actually supported the protest of the citizens," Daynov said.
"Now it is time for the politicians to make their move. The energy of the protests should be channeled and I expect that the Bulgarian Socialist Party will ride the wave this time."
In the capital Sofia casualties were reported as protestors clashed with police who tried to cut short the rally heading for the headquarters of power utility CEZ.
Protesters hurled rocks and glass bottles at the nearby building of right-wing party UDF and the security forces, who responded by pushing them away and dispersing the rally.
Police have detained some of the protestors, but the number of the detainees was not immediately clear.
Tens of thousands hit the streets in Bulgaria's capital Sofia on Sunday against the excesses of power and heating utilities in a continuation of recent wave of protests over high electricity and heating bills.
The disgruntled citizens first gathered in front of parliament and threw tomatoes and apples at it in protest against the excesses of power and heating utilities.
Later on the protesters blocked Eagles' Bridge.
Another rally was staged at Bulgaria's Economy Ministry, with participating protesters of all ages, including mothers with young kid.
The protesters were chanting "mafia" under the windows of the ministry building blockading traffic on the Rakosvki Str.
The demonstrators demand the nationalization of Bulgaria's three power utilities – CEZ, EVN, and Energo-Pro, with the National Electric Company NEK assuming their responsibilities, the publication of all secret contracts in Bulgaria's energy sector, holding those who signed secret energy contracts responsible, abolishing NEK's obligation to buy out any produced electricity, as well as individual contracts with Sofia heating utility Toplofikatsiya that can be terminated on a month's notice.