Police clear anti-government protest camps across Bulgaria

Dozens of tents were removed in the capital Sofia as well as Varna, Plovdiv and an interstate road in the south.

    Two dozen tents were erected in Sofia a week ago without authorisation [File: Nikolay DoychinovAFP]
    Two dozen tents were erected in Sofia a week ago without authorisation [File: Nikolay DoychinovAFP]

    The Bulgarian police has cleared unauthorised protest camps that were blocking roads and enraging citizens during weeks of anti-government demonstrations.

    Two dozen tents were removed from three main intersections in the capital Sofia, which were erected a week ago without authorisation in order to block traffic, police said on Friday.

    The police reacted to hundreds of citizens complaining they could not use private or public transport.

    "We are not going to permit new blockades of intersections," said Toni Todorov, vice chief of police.

    At least 12 protesters were also arrested and fined in Sofia. One protest group immediately called for new protests after the removal of the tents.

    The police also cleared similar blockades in the seaside city Varna and in Plovdiv, as well as a blockade of an interstate road in the south of the country.

    Sofia Bulgaria
    The government declared it would not stand down 'under pressure from street protests' [Nikolay Doychinov/AFP] 

    Protesters have called for the resignation of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov's government for a month.

    The demonstrators, supported by the opposition Socialists and Bulgaria's President Rumen Radev, say the government is corrupt and has links to oligarchs.

    The government, a nationalist-conservative coalition which has been in power since 2017, declared it would not stand down "under pressure from street protests".

    SOURCE: News agencies