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Thousands of Bulgarians protest poverty, corruption

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Bulgarians protesting against high utility bills on February 17, 2013 in Sofia.

Tens of thousands of Bulgarians have staged massive nationwide protests against poverty, high energy bills and corruption.

On Sunday, under the motto “Let’s Set the Monopolies on Fire,” huge number of people took to the streets of different parts of the country, including the capital Sofia and shouted “coward,” “mafia,” “we are hungry,” and “we also want EU financing.”

An estimated 20,000 people gathered in front of the parliament and the central bank to voice their frustrations.

“Where is Boyko? Playing football as he always does on Sundays? His country is on fire, but firefighter (which is Borisov’s profession) number one is nowhere to be seen…,” said one of the protest leaders Yanko Petrov.

Demonstrators also called on Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, to initiate proceedings against every person, who is guilty of plundering the country since the fall of the Communist regime in 1989.

Huge rallies have also been reported in the country’s second largest city of Plovdiv, in the Black Sea capital Varna, where 40,000 swamped the main boulevards and in several other towns across the nation.

This comes while outgoing Prime Minister Boyko Borisov resigned on February 20, after massive protests against high bills for electricity and heating.

Bulgaria has been hit by massive demonstrations since January 28, when people began protesting against the high energy bills for December 2012.

As the residents of the European Union’s poorest member, Bulgarians have to allocate a big part of their monthly income, which averages just 400 euros ($530) a month to electricity bills, especially in the winter.


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