German Media: What Took Bulgarians So Long To Stage RevoltDomestic | February 21, 2013, Thursday // 17:04| views
People shout slogans during a rally against high electricity bills and heating and poverty in the countrym in front of the Bulgarian Parliament in Sofia, Bulgaria, 20 February 2013. Photo by EPA/BGNES
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has called on Bulgarian parties to show a high sense of responsibility during the current government crisis and to unite efforts to find a way out.
Westerwelle is quoted by the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) as saying that the current situation in Bulgaria demands a strong sense of responsibility.
According to BNR, which cites reports of a local correspondent, German media are reporting about protests in Bulgaria in great detail, stressing that the main reason for people to go out in the streets is poverty, which no government has yet managed to tackle.
According to Die Zeit, "It was obvious that something had to happen in Bulgaria. The country is the poorest in the EU and the working population barely manages to cover the rising cost of living with an average income of EUR 400, pensioners with pensions of EUR 100 often have to rely on products of their own garden, provided they have one, for survival. Therefore it is not surprising that the explosive power of society manifested itself in electricity revolts. What is surprising, though, is that this is happening so late."
First they burned their bills and then torched police cars – in Bulgaria the anger of citizens against electricity prices escalated to tensions, Prime Minister Borisov and his government stepped down
"First they burned their bills, then they torched police cars: In Bulgaria civic anger at electricity prices escalated into a revolt which swept Prime Minister Borisov and his entire Cabinet out of office. In the poorest country in the EU, the social situation is disastrous," Der Spiegel writes.
"To many Bulgarians it sounded like a cruel joke: Angel Semerdzhiev, the dismissed Chair of the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR) admitted half-heartedly in a radio interview last week in Sofia about "systemic problems" with the reading of electricity meters and calculating power consumption. However, the protests were already going full steam ahead – the angry Bulgarians had a problem with the entire system" Der Spiegel says.
"The demonstrations against electricity prices turned almost instantly into a general revolt against the economic and social policy of the conservative government of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. The government resigned on Wednesday, allegedly to "return the power which the people gave us back to them," as Borisov explained the step." the Hamburg-based weekly adds.
"However, the burly 53-year-old master of karate and ex-cop wants most of all to avoid the worst at the upcoming elections, which are expected to be postponed from July to April – his party, "Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria" (GERB) is facing electoral defeat because of its austerity course, poor social policy, irresolute fight against corruption and delayed reforms," the German magazine notes.
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