Trade Union Protest Warns against Budget Reform, Pension Cuts
Thousands of people took to the streets on Thursday to protest the government's plans for budget cuts, the new pension reform and the situation in the energy sector.
The action was called in by the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB), one of the country's two biggest trade unions. The second one, Podkrepa Labor Confederation (KT Podkrepa), did not attend.
The numbers of those who took part vary according to different reports.
But as many as 6000 trade-union members took part, signed a declaration of protest sent out to Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, to Parliament Speaker Tsetska Tsacheva and also to parliamentary groups.
The protest in downtown Sofia ended by the National Assembly, a place which turned into a traditional protest venue over the years.
CITUB warned that, unless the 2015 budget was amended, billions would be spent by taxpayers to "bail out the banking system" which in the same time would end the year "at a BGN 800 M profit".
Employees from across Bulgaria gathered to voice their anger and to call on the government to change its mind.
At the same time employers' associations, short of mentioning the protest, voiced in a statement their concern about "pressure on institutions" aimed at changing "basic parameters" of the 2015 budget.
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