SOFIA, Bulgaria: Thousands of Bulgarians protested today against rising electricity and heating bills, and police clashed with demonstrators throwing eggs and tomatoes at government buildings.
The violence occurred in Sofia, the capital, when riot police struggled to keep demonstrators away from public buildings, but no injuries were immediately reported.
Similar rallies occurred in other cities across the country, with some temporarily blocking traffic on major highways.
Earlier, the protesters in Sofia burned their utility bills in public, accusing the government of failing to improve their falling living standards and demanding the expulsion of the three foreign-controlled power distributors that control the local market: CEZ and Energo-Pro from the Czech Republic, and Austria’s EVN.
In January, Albania revoked the license of CEZ and announced that electricity distribution would return to government control, but experts in Bulgaria have expressed doubt the government can legally do that.