Bulgarian Anti-Govt Protests Make News in Distant China
The mass, peaceful, and relentless Bulgarian anti-government protest rallies have gotten the attention of media as far as in China.
The Chinese Xinhua news agency writes Friday in quoting leading political analysts that anti-government protests have lasted for more than a month in Bulgaria and will continue if there is still no effective dialogue between the government and the protesters.
The article explains the situation and the reason for the rallies and publishes comments of leading Bulgarian pollsters and sociology experts, Boryana Dimitrova from Alfa Research, and Kolio Kolev from Mediana.
Below is the full text:
"SOFIA, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The anti-government protests have lasted for more than a month in Bulgaria and will continue if there is still no effective dialogue between the government and the protesters, leading political analysts have told Xinhua.
The outcry began on June 14, two weeks after the election of the government led by Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, by blocking central streets of the Bulgarian capital city of Sofia.
Initially, protesters wanted annulment of a controversial appointment of Delyan Peevski as chairman of the State Agency for National Security made on the same day. Parliament reversed the decision, but protests continued, with demands going all the way up to demanding the government's resignation and asking for new early elections.
Protestors attempted to block the entrance to the National Assembly and threw eggs and tomatoes at some MPs in the morning of recent weeks. Dozens of people have been arrested.
Reaching an agreement on holding elections in May 2014 would calm the situation according to Boriana Dimitrova, Managing Partner of Alpha Research Agency.
Kolyo Kolev, Director of Mediana Agency, said the solution could be in holding a referendum in March next year on whether early elections in May should be held or not.
TENSIONS COULD ESCALATE WITHOUT ANY GOV'T MEASURES
One month after their start, the protests have continued in a sustainable way, and the government has not tried to dialogue with the protesters, according to Dimitrova.
"The third, which is associated with these two things, is really unique: we have a month of solid protests in Sofia without a response from the authorities, but the protests remain absolutely peaceful and ultra-civilized," she said.
Kolev told Xinhua that because of the lack of dialogue, the tension between protesters and other has increased. "Protesters are becoming more adamant that they want the immediate resignation of the government; the others become increasingly firm that the government has to fulfill its four-year term; and everyone wants a clean victory," Kolev said.
The protests may subside in August when many Bulgarians choose to spend their days sunning on the beaches, instead of walking and sweating in the streets.
"But the protest could explode again in September, fueled by additional political, geopolitical and economic interests," Kolev said.
Meanwhile, Dimitrova also said that currently, this was a trench warfare, a war of nerves. "If the government does not reconsider its position, the pressure can only grow -- slowly and gradually or quickly, with the arrival of autumn," she said.
EARLY ELECTIONS WOULD BE OPTION NOT SOLUTION
According to Dimitrova, the quick early elections in two or three months could be a possible solution to this kind of crisis. "Whatever the outcome, you have a new legitimacy of the government, no matter what it is," she said.
Kolev said if there was no other political entity that can appear out of the new elections as an alternative to what exists at the moment, a quite fragile parliamentary body would be formed again.
"In this situation, we would risk entering a spiral of the first of many early elections, because only a month and a half or two, the new majority or potentially new government will be attacked in the same way as this has been attacked," Kolev said.
"If I were Oresharski, I would confess our mistake and ask the protesters to allow the government to operate until the end of March to show its capabilities, and in late March to hold a referendum on whether early elections should be held or not in May along with the European Parliament elections," Kolev said."
There is very large riot police presence.