Thousands defy PM’s step back in Bulgaria

Thousands defy PM’s step back in Bulgaria

SOFIA - Agence France-Presse
Thousands defy PM’s step back in Bulgaria

Bulgarian protesters rally during an anti-government demonstration in Sofia. REUTERS photo

Thousands of Bulgarians took to the streets for a sixth straight day of protests on June 19, demanding the resignation of new Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski despite his apology over a political blunder.

Carrying Bulgarian flags, the protesters gathered outside the government headquarters in downtown Sofia, shouting “Mafia!” “Red garbage!” and “Resignation!”

Over 600 nationalists also staged a separate rally outside Parliament, waving black flags and pressing for new elections. Oresharski’s appointment of controversial media mogul Delyan Peevski as head of the powerful national security agency DANS had sparked public outrage.

The prime minister, who has been in office just three weeks, has since reversed the appointment. He has also apologized.

“I made a political mistake and I apologize not only to you but to all the people who came out to protest,” Oresharski, 53, told Parliament.

But the demonstrators would not let up on their protests, sparking fears of a fresh political crisis after massive rallies against rising poverty forced out the previous government just four months ago.
Oresharski insisted that his resignation would only worsen the country’s economic and social woes.