Bulgaria: Annual socialist summit marked with anti-govt. protests in Sofia

Thousands of people marched and held a rally in Sofia on Saturday to commemorate the annual socialist summit and protest against the current government. The protesters gathered to show their support «against corruption and thievery, united for Bulgaria,» as members of the Bulgarian Socialist Party demanded the resignations of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev amid accusations of corruption and widespread political mismanagement of the country. Protests have been ongoing for 16 consecutive days. Kornelia Ninova, leader of the Bulgarian socialist party, accused the government of having «enslaved Bulgaria. «They kept the people in a state of fear and apathy. They tried to tear us apart and take away our spirits. But they couldn't tear us and break us apart, Bulgarian socialists,» she told the crowd. The communist summit usually takes place at the former communist monument and congress hall of Buzludja, located in the Central Balkans mountains. This year, however, authorities denied access to the site, leading to the crowd gathering in Sofia's city centre instead. A no-confidence vote against the government was held on Tuesday, which it survived. In an attempt to appease the protesters, Borissov announced the resignation of four of his ministers, including the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy, the Interior ministry and the Ministry of Tourism.

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