Protests Rallies in Bulgaria Recede, Marred by DisagreementsSociety | March 17, 2013, Sunday // 17:09| views
Bulgarians have been staging protest rallies against poverty, mafia, and corruption for over a month now. Photo by BGNES
On Sunday, Bulgarians across the country staged once again demonstrations against high utility bills, monopolies, poverty, economic stagnation, corruption, and the political model of ruling the country after the fall of the Communist regime in 1989.
The rallies, however, did not bring together as many people as previous weekend marches, but were marred by arguments and scandals, according to the Bulgarian news agency BGNES.
The only significant protest took place in the Black Sea city of Varna, where 2 000 (compared to earlier 50 000 to 60 000) took to the streets.
In Sofia, several dozen gathered near the headquarters of the Ministry of Economy and Energy. Soon after that, arguments erupted between the most prominent forerunners of the protests with mutual accusations of provocations, replacing the agenda of the rallies, political ambitions, and ties to political parties.
It all ended peacefully, after the leaders talked to each other and shook hands.
The rally was further marred by a tragic incident with an elderly man dying from an apparent heart attack when the procession was passing by the building of the Sofia University. According to initial information, he had not been one of the participants, but just a passerby.
Fifty people gathered in the southwestern city of Blagoevgrad with demands for the resignation of the Governor of the Central Bank, Ivan Iskrov, shouting against the mafia, banks and interest rates, and the monopolies, among others.
Same arguments as in the ones in Sofia erupted and split the not very large group.
According to BGNES, about 100 have gathered in the city of Veliko Tarnovo, 50 in the city of Sliven, and about 100 in the city of Kyustendil.
Several hundred blocked traffic on major thoroughfares in the second largest city of Plovdiv.
A demonstration has been held in the city of Shumen as well.
Meanwhile, two new movements, pledging to fight for the protests' demands, emerged over the weekend – "Liberation" was established on Saturday and "Bulgarian Spring" on Sunday.
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