Bulgarian PM Thanks Supporters, Fears of Clashes Dissipate

Domestic | November 16, 2013, Saturday // 13:45|  views

Thousands of people, many of whom brought from all over the country, gathered in downtown Sofia Saturday in support of his Socialist-led government. Photo BGNES

Bulgarian Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski, has extended deep gratitude to the thousands of people who have gathered in downtown Sofia Saturday in support of his Socialist-led government.

"I know that the bright horizons always emerge after the storm and working for this is worthy. Thank you for being here and supporting our effort," said he, while thousands shouted "Support!" and "Oresharski!"

The Chairman of the liberal predominantly ethnic Turkish party, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, Lyutvi Mestan, also addressed the crowd, saying this was a historic rally. According to him, about 60 000 – 70 000 people were present.

At 1 pm Saturday, some of the participants left, while the others started a march to the government headquarters on "Independence Square."

However, buses are still delivering people from the country to Sofia.

It was reported earlier that DPS requested and paid for two extra trains to bring supporters to the capital.

Before the speeches and the march, the participants in the rally were entertained by pop singer Petya Boyuklieva. They sang with her the national anthem, and were shouting "BSP," "Oresharski," and "Victory."

They also honored with a minute of silence the memory of the late Bishop of the Nevrokop Eparchy, Nathaniel, who passed away Friday at the age of 61.

All ministers and deputy ministers in the Cabinet Oresharski are in attendance. BSP leader, Sergey Stanishev, the Speaker of the Parliament, Mihail Mikov, many lawmakers from BSP and DPS, and MEPs from the two parties are also present.

Meanwhile, fears of tensions and violence, prompted by reports that fan clubs of Sofia's top football teams "Levski" and CSKA, staging their own rally at the same time and the same place before the start of the eternal derby at 3 pm, have not materialized.

There is unprecedented riot police presence in downtown Sofia, where traffic is blocked.

Police, so far, have prevented any direct contact between groups from both rallies, all while the protesting university students kept their promise to remain inside the Sofia University main campus, which they have occupied with demands for the resignation of the government, and to not stage any rallies in order to prevent provocations.

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