Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bulgaria Anticorruption Protests Turn Violent

 Sean Carney
Wall Street Journal

SOFIA—Weeks of daily anticorruption demonstrations in Bulgaria turned violent Tuesday, adding to pressure on the country's new prime minister hours after he had brushed off calls from protesters to step down.

A group of unidentified activists broke off from the main protest outside the Parliament around midnight and began throwing stones, smashing some car windows, according to a police officer at the scene who declined to give his name.

A protest organizer said 10 people were injured, none seriously. About 100 people were stuck inside the building late Tuesday, prevented from leaving by the activists.

On Wednesday morning, police said they escorted out those who had been trapped overnight.

Barricades set up by protesters were removed and the streets were cleared of garbage. Protests planned for Wednesday morning, which organizers said would reach 5,000 people, had not yet materialized, with only around 100 people still demonstrating outside the building.

Tuesday was the first time the protests, which were in their 40th day, had become violent. Similar street demonstrations had caused the previous government to collapse last spring.

Read More