Emeutes à Sofia janvier 2009

carte_bulgarie

BULGARIA-PROTEST/CLASHES

Dailymotion

Youtube

Bulgarians stage second day of anti-govt protests

Thu Jan 15, 2009

By Irina Ivanova and Anna Mudeva

SOFIA, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Thousands of Bulgarians renewed calls for the government to resign over corruption and a host of economic problems, including a cut-off in gas supplies, in a second day of protests on Thursday.

Police deployed in large numbers in front of parliament to try to prevent a repeat of Wednesday’s unrest in which rioters, including students and farmers, clashed with police and smashed windows in some of the worst violence in Sofia in 12 years.

« We want the government to step down, » said student Adriana Ivanova, 23, one of the protest organisers. « We want a better life in Bulgaria and we are ready to keep rallying until we see a change. »

Many Bulgarians say they are fed up with the quality of life in the Balkan country of 7.6 million, which has the lowest GDP per capita in the European Union.

Much anger has been directed at the government’s failure to stamp out endemic graft and organised crime, and its delay in pushing through reforms to cushion the impact of the global financial crisis.

A gas row between Russia and Ukraine, which has stopped flows to Bulgaria, has added to the discontent which analysts say is likely to grow before this year’s parliamentary election.

« The average Bulgarian is in a very difficult situation because he has a very low income and almost no savings to survive the crisis painlessly, » said Ognyan Chipev, a 53-year-old engineer.

« The government kept saying we shouldn’t worry … This was frivolous and irresponsible, » he added.

Anger over the authorities’ handling of a global economic slowdown has also sparked riots in Latvia, Iceland and Russia.

MORE PROTESTS PLANNED

Students, farmers and green activists have threatened more rallies in the coming weeks. Police are planning to protest over low salaries and poor work conditions on Saturday.

Wednesday’s riot was the worst since 1997, when 30 days of mass rallies and strikes toppled the then Socialist government for pushing Bulgaria into an economic meltdown.

Analysts said Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev’s ruling coalition was not threatened, despite plummeting support, because it has an overwhelming majority in parliament.

« The government is obviously having serious problems … but for now there are no signs of political destabilisation, » said Rumiana Kolarova, political analyst at the Sofia University.

« Whether the protests can topple the government would depend on how they will unfold and whether they will manage to attract more people, » she added.

The government secured EU membership last year, nearly halved unemployment to 5.8 percent, almost doubled pensions and public sector wages and attracted 6 billion euros of foreign investment a year since it took power in 2005.

But growth is likely to slow 1-2 percent this year as Bulgaria’s main export market, the EU, faces a deep recession.

Brussels froze EU aid last year over rampant graft and Transparency International portrayed the country as the most corrupt EU nation. (Additional reporting by Tsvetelia Ilieva; Editing by Katie Nguyen)

Bulgarians in anti-government protests clash with police

Reuters

Published: January 14, 2009

SOFIA, Bulgaria: Hundreds of protesters clashed with the police, smashed windows and damaged cars in the Bulgarian capital Wednesday when a rally against corruption and slow reforms in the face of economic crisis turned into a riot.

The violence broke out during a peaceful protest in front of Parliament of more than 2,000 people, including students, farmers and green activists, who said they were fed up with life in the European Union’s poorest and most corrupt nation.

The riot in Sofia was the worst since 1997, when mass rallies and strikes toppled the then Socialist government for pushing the Balkan country into an economic meltdown. Organizers plan more protests in Sofia on Thursday.

On Wednesday, protesters demanded that the Socialist-led government step down for its failure to tackle widespread graft and crime and speed up delayed economic reforms that are supposed to shore up the country from the global slowdown.

Some shouted « Resign » and « Mafia. » There has also been anger about gas being cut off because of a Moscow-Kiev dispute. « We are fed up with living in the poorest and most corrupt country, » the protest organizers said in a statement. « This is a unique protest which unites the people in their wish for change and their wish to live in a normal European country. »

Demonstrators hurled snowballs and bottles at Parliament and hundreds, including soccer fans and far-right activists, clashed with police officers about an hour after the rally started. Twelve policemen and at least 20 protesters were injured.

When the police tried to drive rioters away from Parliament, some began to destroy cars and hurled metal bars and cobblestones dug up from the streets at shop and office windows.

Police officers chased rioters in central Sofia for about four hours and arrested 154 people, some carrying home-made grenades, metal chains and rods.

Riots also broke out in fellow ex-communist Latvia on Tuesday after an earlier peaceful anti-government demonstration as well as eruptions of anger in other economically troubled nations in Europe.

The global financial crisis threatens to erase economic gains achieved in the past decade in Eastern Europe, raising pressure on governments with citizens whose incomes remain well below those of their richer Western neighbors. Opinion polls show over 70 percent of the 7.6 million population in Bulgaria want the government to quit and 75 percent disapprove of Parliament’s work, citing a lack of progress in the anti-corruption fight.

The EU punished Bulgaria last year for failing to put corrupt officials and crime bosses behind bars by suspending hundreds of thousands of euros in EU aid.

Last year’s report by Transparency International portrayed Bulgaria as the most corrupt EU nation, taking the lead from neighboring Romania.

Observers say accelerating protests ahead of this summer’s elections are unlikely to topple the government, which has an overwhelming majority in Parliament.

But it will probably see its support eroded as thousands are expected to lose their jobs mainly because Bulgaria‘s main export market, the EU, faces deep recession, analysts say.

Public anger is mounting against the government also because of a prolonged cut in Russian gas supplies, which left thousands without heating and forced some factories to shut down.

Winter storm causes chaos

Icy road conditions brought chaos to traffic across Bulgaria on Wednesday, closing schools, blocking international highways and causing dozens of car accidents and injuries, Reuters reported from Sofia.

Hospitals in Sofia and the Black Sea city of Varna said they had treated dozens of accident victims with fractures and other injuries. Mayors across the country appealed to people to stay at home.

The police closed stretches of the main highways linking Bulgaria to neighboring Romania and Turkey and urged drivers to avoid unnecessary travel while authorities struggled to free roads of ice by covering them with salt and sand.

Traffic was completely halted in the southern region of Stara Zagora, where the police registered 25 road accidents in one hour, officials said. No traffic deaths were reported, officials said.

In Sofia, home to about two million people, dozens of public bus lines were shut down and across the country 60 schools were closed because of frozen roads, while another 27 did not operate because of low temperatures in the buildings.

Heating has returned to thousands of homes since last Friday as utilities switched to alternative fuels.

Bulgaria anti-government protest turns into riot


Wed Jan 14, 2009

SOFIA, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Dozens of protesters clashed with police in Bulgaria‘s capital on Wednesday when an anti-government rally turned into a riot, police said.

The violence broke out during a peaceful protest in front of parliament of more than 2,000 people, including students, farmers and green activists, who said they were fed up with life in the European Union’s poorest and most corrupt nation.

Protesters demanded the Socialist-led government step down for its failure to tackle widespread graft and crime and solve economic problems in the face of a global slowdown. Some shouted « Resign » and « Mafia ».

Dozens of demonstrators hurled snowballs and bottles at parliament and clashed with police about an hour after the rally started. Some of the protesters were injured.

Police said they had arrested several people carrying hand-made grenades, without giving further details.

Riots also broke out in economically troubled Latvia on Tuesday evening after an earlier peaceful anti-government demonstration.

« We are fed up with living in the poorest and most corrupt country, » organisers of the Sofia protest said in a statement. « This a unique protest which unites the people in their wish for a change and their wish to live in a normal European country. »

Opinion polls show over 70 percent of the 7.6 million population want the government to quit and 75 percent disapprove of parliament’s work, citing a lack of progress in the anti-corruption fight.

The EU last year punished Bulgaria for being too slow in cracking down on graft and organised crime by suspending hundreds of thousands of euros in EU aid.

Last year’s report by Transparency International portrayed the Balkan country as the most corrupt EU nation, taking the lead from neighbouring Romania.

Protests are expected to accelerate ahead of this summer’s general elections but are unlikely to topple the government, which has an overwhelming majority in parliament, observers say. (Reporting by Irina Ivanova, Oleg Popov, Tsvetelia Ilieva and Anna Mudeva)

Más de 1.000 manifestantes provocan disturbios en el centro de Sofía

14 janvier 2009

Sofía.- Una concentración de protesta frente al Parlamento de Sofía de más de 1.000 personas, entre estudiantes, agricultores, ecologistas y jubilados, derivó hoy en violentos enfrentamientos con los agentes de policía.

Los manifestantes, convocados por varios colectivos sociales, exigen cambios radicales en la política del Gobierno del país balcánico en su esferas respectivas y lanzan gritos de « dimisión » y « asesinos ».

Una de las causas de la protesta es la violenta muerte de un estudiante frente a una discoteca de la Ciudad Estudiantil, en vísperas de la Navidad.

Ese suceso ha generado un debate sobre la falta de recursos para la educación y la inseguridad en esta zona, habitada por universitarios y sede de varios centros de estudio.

Entre los manifestantes se cuentan aficionados radicales de clubes de fútbol y grupos de jóvenes enmascarados que lanzan petardos y botellas contra la sede del Parlamento.

También utilizan barras metálicas para agredir a los más de 1.000 agentes que protegen la sede parlamentaria. EFE

BSP backs Sofia’s Mayor ordinance for halting the protest

FOCUS News Agency

14 January 2009

Sofia. Political group of Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) in Sofia Municipal Council backed the actions of the Mayor of Sofia for averting the attempts of some anarchistic groups to stain with blood the peace protests and to provoke mass riots in the capital, BSP announced.

“We consider that the ordinance of Deputy Mayor of Sofia Municipality Yulia Nenkova for ceasing the protest outside the National Assembly is opportune and absolutely responsive to the occurred situation and its shows concern for the safety of the people in the capital”, BSP announced.

Site visitors world map
visitors location counter

~ par Alain Bertho sur 14 janvier 2009.

 
%d blogueurs aiment cette page :