MEP Claims to Have 'Co-organized' Bulgaria's Summer Protests in 2013
Nikolay Barekov, a Bulgarian MEP, said on Tuesday he organized anti-government street protests in the summer of 2013 alongside now ruling GERB party of PM Boyko Borisov.
GERB, which was in opposition at the time, has openly admitted to having sent dozens of activists in front of the Parliament's building in the Bulgarian capital Sofia.
"Intelligent and handsome ones numbered 50 people, the others were [gathered by Prime Minister Boyko] Borisov and me, young boys and girls", Barekov told journalists at a press conference on Tuesday.
Protesters, who demanded that the government of Plamen Oresharski resign following the appointment of controversially perceived lawmaker Delyan Peevski as head of counter-intelligence and domestic security unit DANS, had often been labelled "the intelligent and handsome ones" in sharp contrast with the demonstrations set up in February of the same year which led to the resignation of Boyko Borisov as PM during his first tenure. This description has sparked controversy among those claiming the February protests were of "a social nature" (against low standards of living) compared to those that followed in the summer mostly associated with the "middle class".
Protesters maintain their events were all spontaneous and an act of indignation and free will to face injustice, without any political incitement.
The MEP claimed on Tuesday his Bulgaria without Censorship party (which was not a party at the time, but was quite popular) and his "headquarters" had taken "thousands" to the streets, bringing "half of the posters in this protest."
In his words, GERB's protesters were "paid" and were mostly "clerks, administrators".
Barekov, whose Bulgaria without Censorship party came fourth in EU elections last year, forged in the summer a coalition which made it into the national parliament months later. However, tensions between him and the coalition's parliamentary group heightened resulting in most MPs from Bulgaria without Censorship leaving his party and arguing they do not recognize him as the group's leader.
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