Bulgarians demonstrated in Sofia, demanding an improvement in living standards and denouncing corruption on Thursday. This came during the inauguration of Bulgaria’s six-month presidency of the European Union (EU).
“Strength in corruption” asserted a flag, which ridiculed the slogan for Bulgaria’s EU presidency “Strength in the Union!”.
Stakeholder demonstrators included ecologists but also pro-Russian and anti-European groups, such as women’s rights activists, police and the retired. During around a dozen demonstrations, organised throughout the day, they demanded wage and pension increases.
Only the police had an immediate result. The Prime Minister, Boyko Borissov, conceded that he should make available 100 million lev (€50 million) to increase their wages.
A small group of demonstrators, hostile to NATO and the EU, gathered to burn the European flag and chanted “Stay out NATO!”. This is a position little shared in Bulgaria, one of the most enthusiastic members of the European Union.