A wind of rebellion blows over Sofia. For the past week, between 5,000 and 10,000 protesters have chanted daily « mafia » and “Resignation” in front of the seat of Boïko Borissov’s conservative government. The situation has an air of deja vu for the 61-year-old leader, a former firefighter colonel converted to the private security services, after the fall of communism. The popular outcry already led him to leave office in 2013, following protests against ” the cost of living “. This did not prevent him from returning to power a few months later.
Anger returns this time in a context of scandals highlighting the political proximity to economic circles led by influential oligarchs. “A new generation is gradually emerging, with a different interpretation. It no longer refers to the communist / anti-communist divide of the 1990s, but to the ideas of justice and democracy under the name of anti-mafia ”, explains Svetlana Dimitrova, specialist in post-socialist transformations, teacher at the Catho de Lille.
The current rumor was triggered by a media coup led by Hristo Ivanov, 46, leader of the anti-corruption party “Democratic Bulgaria”, unelected in parliament and which federates mainly in the capital. On July 7, this former justice minister from Borissov, filmed live on Facebook, tried to disembark by boat on a public beach in the Black Sea, monopolized for the needs of the private villa of Ahmed Dogan, powerful and controversial support of the Prime Minister, former leader of the Turkish Minority Party (MDL). “His action has come to illustrate what it means to appropriate the country”, commente Svetlana Dimitrova, for whom it is indeed the legacy after 1989 in question in this case. “The enrichment of those who took advantage of denationalization after communism has left a terrible aftertaste of injustice, but it is very difficult to contest its legality. “
A political alternative to invent
Thirteen years after its entry into the European Union, Bulgaria remains the country most affected by corruption, according to the classification established by the NGO Transparency International. Investigation of fraud with European funds, questionable real estate transactions having benefited those close to the majority, resignation in January of the environment minister questioned for waste traffic… Business has multiplied in recent months.
A search carried out a few days ago in the offices of two advisers to Socialist President Roumen Radev finished setting the powder on fire. The left supporting the popular sling was to table a motion of censure against the government, Wednesday July 15. However, the Socialists – heirs of the Communist Party – also faced pressure from the street during their two times in power since 1989. “The demonstrators have the watchword” resignation “, but they cannot make a political offer with specific demands”, souligne Svetlana Dimitrova.
For the demonstrators, time is running out. Boïko Borissov, who has strong support in small towns, is preparing to be re-elected next spring. Ten days ago, the polls gave him ten points ahead of his opponents.