You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

World

  • Macedonian activists hurt in cafe attack
    SKOPJE, Macedonia – Police said about 30 people wearing masks and throwing rocks and bottles have attacked members of a gay-rights activist group in Macedonia, wounding two of them.
  • Iraqi officials say IS militants used chlorine gas
    BAGHDAD – Islamic State militants used chlorine gas during fighting with security forces and Shiite militiamen last month north of Baghdad, Iraqi officials said Friday.
  • Turkey says 1,300 Syria rebels heading to Kobani
    TALLINN, Estonia – Turkey’s president said Friday that Ankara would allow hundreds of Syrian rebels to travel to the embattled border town of Kobani in order to help Kurdish fighters there fend off an Islamic State onslaught.
Advertisement

Bulgarian prime minister says his government will resign

SOFIA, Bulgaria – Bulgaria’s government resigned Wednesday after days of violent protests fueled by outrage over rising energy costs, corruption and a general economic decline in what is already the European Union’s poorest nation.

Tens of thousands of Bulgarians had turned out in cities across this nation of 7.3 million people since Sunday in protests. They accused their leaders of having ties to crime and demanded that the government resign. Many chanted “Mafia!”

The worst of the violence came late Tuesday in Sofia, the capital, when protesters clashed with police in riot gear, leaving 15 protesters injured.

Just hours later, the center-right government of Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said it would heed the will of the people.

“Our power was handed to us by the people, today we are handing it back to them,” Borisov told lawmakers in Parliament before formally submitting the resignation of his Cabinet on Wednesday.

Parliament speaker Tsetska Tsacheva said legislators will vote on the resignation Thursday, though that appears to be largely a formality.

The move comes as the center-right government is losing public support in the wake of the country’s worst economic downturn in a decade and ahead of general elections in July. The resignation means that early elections will be likely be held in April or May.

Tens of thousands of protesters across the country hit the streets over the weekend to protest rising electricity and heating bills. Some threw eggs and tomatoes at government buildings in Sofia. Some also burned their utility bills in public, accusing the government of failing to improve their falling living standards and demanding the expulsion of the three foreign-controlled power distributors that control the local market: CEZ and Energo-Pro from the Czech Republic, and Austria’s EVN.

Many Bulgarians feel squeezed by low wages – the lowest in the EU at $480 monthly – and prices that keep going up. Many say they feel betrayed by their leaders and by promises joining the EU in 2007 would bring a better life.

Borisov’s ruling center-right party won parliamentary elections in 2009, but has been steadily losing public support in the wake of the country’s worst economic downturn in a decade.

Advertisement