Bulgaria’s government resigned on Wednesday amid nationwide protests against high electricity prices, as well as other issues.
Many of the country’s citizens have been upset about high energy costs, power monopolies, low living standards, and corruption. Bulgaria is the European Union’s poorest country.
Protesters clashed with police on Tuesday, sending 25 people to the hospital, reports Reuters. Prime Minister Boyko Borisov tried to calm protests by firing his finance minister.
He also pledged to cut energy costs and punish foreign-owned companies but the promises failed to defuse the protesters. The hospitalization of protesters Tuesday night also played into the prime minister’s resignation. In announcing his decision on Wednesday, Borisov stated:
“I will not participate in a government under which police are beating people.”
“We have dignity and honor. It is the people who put us in power and we give it back to them today.”
Borisov’s center-right government’s popularity has failed in recent years. He attempted to reconnect with the people of Bulgaria, to no avail. Several protesters on Tuesday night braved freezing temperatures. Some protesters in the capital of Sofia carried Bulgarian flags, while others sported candles.
The upset crowd repeatedly chanted “Mafia,” and accused the government of corruption. The Bulgarian government’s resignation means that the country is yet another in a list of European administrations to resign over austerity.
The Bulgarian government’s resignation will likely move July’s parliamentary election forward, though that has not been confirmed at this time.