New anti-cartel protests loom in Bulgaria


The protest rallies against high utility bills and monopolies are continuing on February 19.

The rallies in downtown Sofia on February 18 evening were marked by demands for resignation of the Cabinet and clashes with riot police, which continued for over 4 hours with policemen chasing demonstrators on Sofia streets.

The most serious clash happened on the central «Hristo Botev» boulevard where police attacked the crowd with batons. In another incident, shots were fired from a balcony in downtown Sofia. The shooter was arrested and the gas pistol seized.

According to official data of the Interior Ministry, 11 people have been detained and 6 patrol cars have sustained damage.

The Chief of Sofia police, Commissar Valeri Yordanov, informs the man fired the gas pistol at the demonstrators because they were pushing his parked vehicle. He explained that two of the other 10 detainees had criminal records – for distribution of illegal drugs and disorderly conduct, respectively.

Two minors have also been arrested and later released to the custody of their parents, who were summoned to pick them up from the police precinct. All have 24 hours detention orders.

Several people have sustained slight injuries, both policemen and demonstrators.

Adapted from Novinite

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