For a tenth day in a row, demonstrations against the government and what protesters are denouncing as “the oligarchy” have taken place in Bulgaria.
Twenty-eight people were arrested Sunday evening in Sofia and remained in custody on Monday, the Bulgarian Interior minister said. A group of approximately 200 persons identified by other demonstrators as trouble-makers was isolated by the police to prevent fights.
The spark that triggered the daily demonstrations in Sofia and other Bulgarian cities was the nomination on June 14 of MP Delyan Peevski as the head of the National Security Agency (DANS), Bulgaria’s secret service. The 32-year-old media mogul, who has links to a powerful bank, has a controversial reputation and is suspected of illegal activities by many Bulgarians.
The protests then turned against the entire Bulgarian political class, suspected by many of having dubious links with the business world.
Since they began 10 days ago, the demonstrations regularly gather between 7,000 and 10,000 people in Sofia. They have been peaceful so far, with the exception of scuffles with nationalists on June 18 that left eight people injured.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Orecharski, whose government was sworn in by the Bulgarian Parliament on May 29, is accused by the demonstrators of “serving the oligarchy.” On June 19, he acknowledged making a “political mistake” by nominating Peevski, although his act of contrition appeared not to calm the demonstrators, many of whom are still demanding his resignation.
On Sunday evening, a group of sixty intellectuals called for the end of the corrupt political system in Bulgaria by signing a “charter for the dismantling of the plutocratic model of the Bulgarian state.” Several hundred citizens have already joined the call and signed the petition.
See our story on the Bulgarian mobilisation on social networks: Will you #ДАНСwithme? How Bulgarian protesters are using social media