Bulgaria's prime minister says government will resign amid protests
Country shaken over the past 10 days by protests that were first focused on soaring electricity prices, but then grew into nationwide demonstrations against the government
Bulgaria's prime minister announced on Wednesday the surprise resignation of his government after days of sometimes violent rallies, paving the way for early elections in the European Union's poorest member.
"It is the people who put us in power and we give it back to them today," Boyko Borisov told parliament.
"I will not participate in a government where the police beat up people or where threats for protests replace political dialogue. If the street wants to govern the country, let it do it."
Elections were expected to take place in late April, and in the meantime the president was expected to appoint a caretaker government of experts.
Bulgaria has been shaken over the past 10 days by protests that were first focused on soaring electricity prices, but then grew into nationwide demonstrations against the government.
With the Bulgarian economy barely growing, voters are frustrated by what they see as the failure to clamp down on corruption and cronyism.
After tens of thousands rallied on Sunday, violent clashes erupted on Monday and Tuesday night, with running battles between demonstrators and protestors leaving 26 people injured.
Two men also reportedly set themselves on fire. One has died and the other was in hospital with 80 per cent burns.
Borisov had attempted to take the heat out of the crisis by announcing on Monday the sacking of the unpopular finance minister, and on Tuesday saying he would revoke the licence of Czech electricity firm CEZ and lower electricity prices by 8 percent.
"I do not want to see blood on the streets again," Borisov said yesterday.