Protests Continue in Bulgaria Throughout the Night

Photo: BIRN/Svetoslav Todorov

After another crowded protest in Sofia against Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s cabinet, parts of the capital remained blocked through Wednesday and Thursday morning, mainly the Eagles Bridge, one of the popular protest spots over the decades.

People camped on the boulevard through the night and were still there on Thursday morning, as well as around the Council of Ministers, from where the marches usually start. This has forced changes to Sofia’s transportation system and to bus schedules.

The E-79 highway near Blagoevgrad was also blocked by a protesting crowd.

“If we block the whole transport system, the cabinet will resign immediately,” a young man in an enthusiastic voice told a friend a little after midnight Wednesday as the 21st day of the anti-government protest wave in Bulgaria merged with the 22nd.

The leader of the nationalist Bulgarian National Movement, Defence Minister Krassimir Karakachanov, criticized the protests on Bulgarian National Television, however, claiming they had no leaders and no clear concept about what they wanted.

Photo: BIRN/Svetoslav Todorov

The Minister of Ecology, Emil Dimitrov, also took a critical stance during a morning TV interview. « There are people who don’t like government and want early elections. What if they don’t like the next one? How long will we have to be without a government?” he asked.

One of the topics discussed between the protesters are also new phone leaks sent to the media by an anonymous source. They allegedly include the voice of Prime Minister Borissov, talking dismissively about President Rumen Radev and the civil unrest, often using curses.

The Interior Ministry has not released numbers of how many people have taken part in the demonstrations. According to one trio of protest leaders, the number may be close to 100,000, though most estimates are closer to 20-30,000.

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