Mothers of Children with Disabilities Staged a National Protest Across Bulgaria
Mothers of children with disabilities staged another protest on 2nd of October across the country under the slogan, "The system kills us - the system is blocked." This time they expressed their dissatisfaction with a protest march.
In Sofia, protesters blocked the Eagles Bridge for about an hour and a half and then their march finished in front of the Parliament.
Mothers of disabled children have been protesting for 4 months. Today, they decided to change the form of their protest and took to the streets. The reason for the protests was that MPs did not meet the October 01 deadline for voting on at least one of the three draft laws – people with disabilities, personal assistance and social services.
Yesterday, the draft law on people with disabilities was returned for reworking instead of being presented in Parliament.
Most restrictive was the stance of the Ministry of Finance. The protesters opposed the removal of part of the text. The Minister of Social Policy, Bisser Petkov, returned it and promised that it would be reworked by next week to everyone’s satisfaction.
Mothers of children with disabilities shared their expectations in front of BNT cameras and the ombudsperson, Maya Manolova, described the cause as “just”.
“We have been protesting in tents since 1st of June and as you can see things are not going into a good direction,” a protester said. “We insist on these laws, we want them for our children. They promised us, but did nothing. They gave us false expectations and we do not have any expectations now,” she added. ”We’ll carry on until the end, when the law is passed.”
“There is a just cause; there are people ready to fight for it until the end. The finances are available. I think, that at the end of the day, the reform should take place,” the ombudsperson said.
The protesting mothers were firm that they would continue with the protests and road blocks until they see real social reform.
In response to the protest, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister said that the people with disabilities will receive an additional 150 million BGN in next year’s budget.
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