Anti-Govt Rally Staged at Bulgaria's Unification Day Ceremony
The solemn military roll call and fireworks in Bulgaria second largest city of Plovdiv to mark Unification Day was held parallel with an anti-government rally.
The ceremony was guarded by increased riot police presence.
President Rosen Plevneliev urged politicians to stop the detrimental messages that are causing a rift in the nation and to unite around the cause for Bulgaria's advancement and clear priorities for the future.
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski rejected accusations his government has turned a back to national causes and assessed its rule for the first 100 days in office as very good.
Hissing and shouts "resignation" could be heard on the backdrop while the statesmen were delivering their addresses. Police prevented the demonstrators from entering the central square where the ceremony was held.
Meanwhile, about 400 Bulgarians (down from the 1 000 who came on Thursday) took once again to the streets of the capital Sofia Friday evening to demand the resignation of the country's Socialist-led government.
The rally was held for an 85th day in a row in the record-long protest in the country.
The demonstrators marched on their usual route to the building of the Parliament. Some wore national costumes on the occasion of Unification Day.
Anti-government rallies in Sofia have subsided in numbers, but participants remain relentless in their struggle to "topple" the government.
The rallies, at times reaching 20 000 and even 30-40 000 in Sofia, were triggered by the appointment of notorious media mogul and lawmaker Delyan Peevski as Head of the State Agency for National Security (DANS) back on June 14.
The protesters were not appeased by the subsequent cancellation of the decision and went on to demand the resignation of the cabinet over ties with oligarchs and a number of controversial appointments.
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