Bulgaria Faces Nationwide Protests
A nationwide protest against the political model, unbearable utility bills and poverty is taking place in Bulgaria Sunday under the motto "Let's Set the Monopolies on Fire."
Rallies are expected in the capital Sofia and many of the largest cities such as Plovdiv, Varna, Pazardzhik, and Blagoevgrad among others. The starting time is 11 am.
In Sofia the demonstrators are gathering at two spots – in front of the building of the Ministry of Economy and Energy and on Eagles' Bridge intersection. The two groups are to meet in front of the Parliament.
President, Rosen Plevneliev, said Friday he was going to honor the organizers' invitation to attend the rally.
There, the organizers will present the demands of the demonstrators, which were debated Saturday in the central city of Sliven and in Sofia.
Despite strong disagreements among different groups of disgruntled people, some the demands that emerged are: not adjourning the Parliament; the President appointing a program government instead of a caretaker one; drafting a Civil Participation Bill providing a 50% civil quota in all institutions; returning 51% of the shares of power utilities to the State; closing the Bulgarian Energy Holding, BEH, for draining the energy sector, summoning a Grand General Assembly, establishing a procedure to recall Members of the Parliament.
Bulgarians abroad will also stage protest rallies. They will be held in Vienna, Munich, Dublin, London, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Athens, Berlin, and Madrid.
Demonstrators have gathered in the capital Sofia Sunday in a protest against the abuse of clients on the part of Bulgarian banks.
The rally, which is the third one for the day, is held in front of the building of the Central Bank, BNB.
The demonstrators are calling for the ousting of the Bank's governor, Ivan Iskrov, over the inadequate policies of the Central Bank, leading to mass violations in the Credit Institutions Act.
Other demands include a ban on changing interest rates and other terms of the loans singlehandedly by the banks, transparency in forming interest rates and in loan granting criteria, passing a law on filing personal bankruptcy, a mechanism for out-of-court protection of customers, and stronger control of BNB on banks.
"Our purpose is to unite Bulgarians abroad, who want to show their love and concern for Bulgaria," the organizers said in a Facebook statement.
Following is a list of the venues in major European cities, where rallies in support of the protests in Bulgaria will take place on 24 February 2012 (Sunday):
- Athens, Greece - 11.00 - to the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria
- Barcelona, Spain - 10.00 - Passeig de Sant Joan, 73
- Berlin, Germany - 15.30 - the embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria
- Valencia, Spain - 10.00 - to Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria
- Vienna, Austria - 11.00 - the embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria
- Dublin, Ireland - 14.00 - the embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria
- Düsseldorf, Germany - 11.00 - Heinrich-Heine-Platz 1
- Copenhagen, Denmark - 15.00 - the embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria
- London, UK - 11.00
- Madrid, Spain - 11.00 - the embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria
- Munich, Germany - 11.00
- Paris, France - 15.00 - the Cathedral "Notre Dame"
- Rome, Italy – 11. - the embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria
Is it imaginable that these protests turn to violence? Banks are topic that quite often leads to smashing banks, not just in Athens but also Spain, but also in Germany and other countries in Europe.
No, I don't think that there will be violence. Because people from the crowd are taking provocateurs to the police themselves. People are protesting peacefully.
Originally Posted by CourageWolf
These are people demands(used Google translate):
"On behalf of the more than 150,000 protesters took to the streets on Sunday, metropolitan leaders gave their demands the head of state. The main points were that the 41 th National Assembly must complete its mandate to approve all laws against monopolies and higher bills for electricity, heating and water. Until then be selected from the program, the government politically independent experts, which must be civil quota. We do not want caretaker Government want each authority to just do the work to meet the demands of the people, as promised, said leaders of the protests. They made within one week of the president's actions. If there are no quick results and will want his resignation. The demands of protesters to the President
1. Do not dissolve the National Assembly.
2. Creation of Public Council of experts and civil compulsory quota him to design a program to meet the claims of its citizens.
3. Creating a Program Office.
4. Contract between the council and public programming office.
- Changing the electoral law. Switching from proportional to majoritarian electoral system.
- Right to recall MPs.
- Wear judicial and criminal liability on the part of MPs and ministers.
- 50% quota in all civil government regulators.
1. Immediate termination of all proceedings against EDC customers, "Heat" and water to establish the legitimacy of the transactions.
2. Reducing production quotas expensive electricity. 100% cheaper than electricity produced from NPP "Kozloduy", can be used to meet the needs of the internal market.
3. Crossing cattle in the hands of the state, in line with European standards and directives.
4. Remove all intermediaries to take their NEC functions.
5. Declassification of all contracts to producers of electricity for the domestic market.
6. Disintegration of contracts injurious state and Bulgarian citizens.
7. Find court and criminal liability for damages to the state of the signatories of the contracts.
1. Signing contracts with individual district heating companies. Each client companies the right to terminate its contract with one month's notice.
2. Individual gauge actual quantity in MWh of heat, so that at any time to know how real consumption.
3. Remove the term "estimated amount".
4. Monthly reporting of actual quantity heat.
5. Remove heat accounting companies.
1. Dissolution of any concessions regarding supply of water to the citizens of Bulgaria.
2. State to take over the functions of the concession companies."
So the Bulgarian protests are against what exactly. Being too poor to afford utility/electricity bills even though Bulgaria has some of the cheapest electricity costs in Europe?
So basically against just being too poor.
There isn't a lot that the government can do about it, political reforms won't help.
Even if utilities are nationalised; there will still be the problem of low salaries, little economic growth and large unemployment - Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary are in serious trouble.
Its about many things- mainly high utility bills, we are manufacturer of electricity and we pay more then the whole EU. And don't look at euro stat, because there is only the power price per kwh. Without the taxes and delivery cost.
Originally Posted by Flamming_Python
For example if you consume electricity for 20euro, you will pay total of 50euro. There is many cases where empty apartments and empty offices are billed hundreds of leva for electricity. The majority of people got double or triple power bills compare with the previous month.
Political reform combine with civil council control will help lower corruption which will be beneficial for all.
And people protest because we are not satisfied with how politician run the country.
So are the power utilities private or still public? How much influence does the government have over the pricing?
They are private, but the Government is regulating the price and the taxes. And when you have corrupt people on both side of the isle you know what will happen.
Originally Posted by themacedonian
We have this Govt company http://www.nek.bg/cgi?d=1000
and this Govt regulator http://www.dker.bg/indexen.php
Pretty much there is info coming out where Govt regulator accepted bribes from power companies in favors when Govt decides what the prices will be and/or gave permit to such companies for favor. And we the people are screw with the price.
It's believe the "favors" were money, apartments, house at Black sea coast etc. He made deals to by expensive green electricity from the Godmother of his child, can you believe it. I hope he go's in jail and man more to. His name is Angel Semerdzhiev
The protests seem reasonable.
The state of Florida has similar issue with power.
There is a monopoly for the entire state. FPL.
It's illegal to generate your own power in the state of Florida. Generator? Solar power? Expect a big as fine and a lawsuit from FPL.
And meter readers "estimate" your power consumption. even if we turn off everything in the house and leave for a month.
Our electricity bill would be higher than last months for no reason. The State allows such monopoly.
Thanks for explaining, now that makes a lot of sense actually.
Originally Posted by Dolph BG
Our govt is encouraging people to go to solar, even subsidising. As for estimating, I can understand if for some reason they can't access your meter and give a 'guesstimate' based on previous comsumption (which happens here) but to charge you for power you haven't used is just incredible.
Originally Posted by Roebuck
Digital meters. They don't have to come here physically. they can look it up online.
Originally Posted by Elliott70
generator and solar power illegal? seriously?
Originally Posted by Roebuck