Planned Rise in Vignette Stickers’ Price Prompts Protests in Bulgaria
Protests against a planned increase in the price of vignette stickers for motor vehicles have been held across Bulgaria on Saturday, local media reported.
Protesters in Sofia gathered in front of Parliament building to demand that the government scrapped its decision for a one-off increase of up to 50% of the price from next year.
Others called for a gradual increase in the price over four to five years and introduction of road tolls for motorways in Bulgaria instead of vignette stickers.
Protests were also held in Plovdiv, Varna, Blagoevgrad, Ruse and other cities.
Motor vehicles travelling on Bulgaria’s motorways and first-class roads must have a vignette sticker attached to the windshield. The current price of the stickers was set in 2008 and hasn’t been changed since.
The government decided earlier this month to increase the price, citing a need to raise funds for road maintenance and repairs. Some opponents of the decision say that it will be fairer to raise those funds through increasing the fuel prices, making those who drive more pay more.
The price of one-week vignettes for passenger cars is set to rise to BGN 15 from BGN 10 under the government's decision. One-week stickers will cost BGN 30, an increase from BGN 25 now, while one-year vignettes will cost BGN 97 versus BGN 67 now.
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