Bulgarian Protesters Vow to Boycott Election over PensionsSociety | March 9, 2017, Thursday // 16:46| views
Screen capture: BNT
Hundreds of elderly people have gathered in front of the Presidency of Bulgaria, calling for a steep increase in retirement pensions over the next few years.
Some of the demonstrators have threatened to boycott the vote due on March 26 unless their demands are heard to slide the country to a political crisis, News.bg quotes the Bulgarian Pensioners' Association head, Dimitar Kisimov, as saying.
Protesters have demanded that the minimum retirement pension rise to BGN 350 and reach BGN 500 over the next few years.
In addition, existing pensions should be recalculated based on the average insurance income for the previous 12 months.
Bulgarians aged above 65 should also be able to receive free medicines, demonstrators insist.
Pensioners are determined to submit their demands to the Presidency and the Council of Ministers.
As of the first half of 2017, the minimum pension in Bulgaria is BGN 165.25, or less than EUR 85, per month.
The Bulgarian News Agency and daily 24 Chasa quote pensioners' organizations as saying they are being subjected to a "silent genocide".