Bulgaria's government resigns

Bulgarian prime minister Boiko Borisov speaks in the Parliament in Sofia earlier this year. His government resigned from office this morning after nationwide protests against high electricity prices. Photograph: Reuters

Bulgarian prime minister Boiko Borisov speaks in the Parliament in Sofia earlier this year. His government resigned from office this morning after nationwide protests against high electricity prices. Photograph: Reuters

Wed, Feb 20, 2013, 00:00

Bulgaria's government has resigned from office following nationwide protests against high electricity prices, joining a long list of European administrations felled by austerity.

Prime minister Boiko Borisov had tried to calm protests by sacking his finance minister, pledging to cut power prices and punish foreign-owned companies but the measures failed to defuse discontent and protests continued last night.

Many Bulgarians are deeply unhappy over high energy costs, power monopolies, low living standards and corruption in the European Union's poorest country.

Twenty-five people were taken to hospital after protesters clashed with police yesterday.

"I will not participate in a government under which police are beating people," Mr Borisov said as he announced his resignation this morning.

The premier did not say if a parliamentary election scheduled for July would now be brought forward.

Mr Borisov has said the electricity distribution licence of central Europe's largest listed company, Czech-based CEZ will be revoked, setting Bulgarian on course with its EU partner the Czech Republic.

Reuters

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