Bulgaria: Protesters seek support from Berlin and Brussels

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SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Several hundred anti-government protesters gathered on Wednesday in front of the German embassy in Sofia, calling on Berlin and Brussels to “open their eyes” to widespread corruption in Bulgaria.

During the peaceful protest, dubbed “Eyes Wide Shut,” organizers complained that the European Union has willfully ignored the state of affairs in its poorest member state.

Demands for the resignations of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and the country’s chief prosecutor, Ivan Geshev, have been at the core of month-long street protests in the capital and other big cities in the Balkan country.

The mostly young protesters accuse those in power of links to the mafia, refusing to fight corruption and suppressing freedom of speech.

Dozens of tent camps have been set up to block key roads across the country as part of anti-government protests.

Borissov, who has held office since 2009 and whose third term is scheduled to end in March, offered to step down if that would keep his troubled coalition government in place. But eventually, he revised his plan saying that there was still plenty to be done concerning the COVID-19 crisis and the economic downturn.