Bulgarians vs. Government: Fight against corruption


Protests in Sofia (Photo: Flickr)

Protests in Sofia (Photo: Flickr)

For several months now every single day and night Bulgarians are protesting in front of Parliament and PM office buildings in effort to tackle one of the biggest problems  – system corruption. Two months ago Sofia citizens forced Bulgarian government to resign, to open space for new political force to come in and change something, but that didn’t happen. Current technocratic government lead by PM Oresharski continued with same old practices. 

Reason for current protests is appointment of media mogul Delyan Peevski as head of the state security agency. Late Tuesday night protests in front of Parliament building changed a course from peaceful to violent causing swift police action. Two sides collided in front of Parliament when police tried to get out and safely transport hundreds of MP’s, ministers and other governmental officials out of the building. Several dozens were injured or arrested and all kinds of available weapons were used to hurt opposite side. Beside Peevski, PM Oresharski, found himself in trouble over joint rebuke from the ambassadors of Germany and France over nontransparent appointments which could benefit corruption.

Plamen Oresharski

Bulgarian PM Plamen Oresharski (Photo: Flickr)

Oresharski’s main opponent Borisov also calls government to resign and let people chose new leadership, this call is followed by plea issued by countries President who asked protesters to remain peaceful and democratic. This is probably first time ever that Bulgarians chose violence over peace in their protests but nobody is surprised because problems are persistent and becoming even bigger burden on people backs.

While PM Oresharski is telling to the public that he’s not ready to resign, negating any involvement in corruption, EU Justice Commissioner Vivian Reding sends message to people that their requests are in a line with EU policies. EU is firm that all member states and those who aspire to become must to fight corruption and adopt zero-tolerance laws, practices and ways of governing. Bulgaria is not alone EU member faced with corruption problems, recently we heard a lot about Slovenia and newest member Croatia. Last Slovenia government was forced out, Croatia’s former PM Ivo Sanader is accused in several cases and faced with long-term jail sentences.

PM Oresharski is confident that he can change political situation in his country, hoping that protesters will understand his party situation in Parliament where out of 240 seats they commands only 120. As any other leader in that position he must to work with his opponents through compromises, but citizens doesn’t feel that as right because they want to see corruption and scandal free politicians in government.

Long road ahead against corruption in EU (Photo: Flickr)

Long road ahead against corruption in EU (Photo: Flickr)

Looks like European Union will need to do more in fight against corruption and start rethinking its process of enlargement because if they get in more countries like Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia their overall situation will become even harder. One member corruption, dysfunctional political systems and protests must to stop if EU wants to move forward and finally come out of a recession and persistent fiscal problems.

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