15 January 2009

Anti-government protest held in Sofia, Bulgaria

The Associated Press
Thursday, January 15, 2009

SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Bulgarians have held a rally outside parliament for the second day to demand that their government resign because of alleged corruption and a deepening economic crisis.

Some 2,000 students, farmers and medical workers held Thursday's rally shouting, "resignation" and "mafia."

Opposition lawmakers who have demanded an early election also left a parliament session and joined the protesters. The next parliamentary election is due this summer.

Hundreds of riot police cordoned off Parliament in an attempt to prevent a repetition of Wednesday's violence, during which protesters hurled stones and bottles at the building and clashed with police. Dozens of people were injured, including 14 police officers.

Many Bulgarians blame the Socialist-led government for the country's economic woes, which have been exacerbated by the crisis over a cutoff of natural gas supplies from Russia.

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