Bulgaria’s government has resigned amid growing public violence over high energy prices and a low standard of living.
Prime Minister Boiko Borisov had tried to calm nationwide street protests.
He had sacked his finance minister and promised to cut the cost of electricity which is one of the major complaints from Bulgarians who earn, on average, just over 400 euros a month.
But that did nothing to deflect the anger and he resigned to parliament.
Borisov said he will not participate in a government under which police beat people.
There were ferocious clashes between riot squads and protesters – at least 25 demonstrators had to have hospital treatment.
Even though Bulgaria’s austerity measures appeared relatively tame compared to others elsewhere in Europe, nearly 12 per cent of the workforce are jobless, and frustrations boiled over when heating bills went up during the winter.
There is a chance that elections scheduled for July could be brought forward.