PM: Tensions in Bulgaria Are Politically Motivated
Tensions, surrounding the incident in the village of Katunitsa, are politically motivated, according to Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov.
Borisov made the statement Saturday, during the ground breaking ceremony for Lot 1 of the Struma highway in southern Bulgaria, saying the clashes will certainly subside after the October 23 presidential and local elections.
The PM further pointed out that all perpetrators and instigators are under permanent detention.
"What are they protesting about? We are building highways, daycare centers, we are building Bulgaria every day, this is what we do, and it is a fact. About what? They want to bring back the past – people fighting on the streets and the country being in the state I found it. What more can we do? If this is what people want, let them do it," he said.
Tensions in Bulgaria were sparked by the September 23 murder of Bulgarian youngster, Angel Petrov, 19, who was deliberately run over by a minivan, driven, according to witnesses, by one of the relatives of notorious Roam boss from Katunitsa, Kiril Rashkov AKA Tsar Kiro. The murder led to massive protests of the ethnic Bulgarians in the village, where Tsar Kiro's mansions are located. They culminated Saturday night into the burning of Rashkov's properties by football hooligans from Plovdiv, which is near to Katunitsa, and by football club fans from the capital Sofia and the southern city of Stara Zagora.
From Monday to Thursday night, protests followed in many major Bulgarian cities, including the capital Sofia. Nearly 350 people in total were arrested by the police after the two nights of rallies that involved what has been perceived as ethnic hatred.
Bulgarian authorities have frozen Rashkov's assets and property while he is investigated on tax evasion charges, the revenue agency has confirmed. Interior Ministry Chief Secretary Kalin Georgiev told the morning broadcast of Nova TV channel Wednesday that Rashkov, AKA Tsar Kiro, has been arrested. On Friday the Regional Court in the town of Asenovgrad decided to keep Rashkov behind bars.
On Saturday, Borisov reiterated the tax probe against Tsar Kiro and his associates had begun before Petrov's murder.
"Regretfully, the events developed a week after we launched the probe. He would have been arrested anyway," he pointed out.
Regarding allegations the protests have been and are organized by football club fans, the PM stressed the cabinet has granted BGN 1 M each to the two in Plovdiv – Locomotive and Botev, and plans to help the ones in Sofia as well.
When asked what can be done against political parties using the discontent for their own gains, Borisov replied: "Nothing. Nothing is ever done against political leaders. This is democracy."
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