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What message the protest against green certificates is conveying

Photo: BGNES

On January 12, the smallest parliamentary force “Vazrazhdane” held a protest in front of the National Assembly building against the green certificates. Its supporters who call the green certificate “discriminatory" tried to storm the National Assembly. The rally lasted for several hours only. However, one question remained after yesterday’s tension – who wants to see the Bulgarian society divided in times when it is facing health, social and economic threats.”

Bulgaria is not going to abolish the green certificate, this country’s Premier Kiril Petkov announced on Wednesday. Premier Petkov was placed under a mandatory quarantine after the National Security Advisory Council when it became clear that National Assembly Speaker Nikola Minchev tested positive for Covid-19. Kiril Petkov also expressed his concern that the hospitals would not have enough capacity to cope with a larger number of Covid-19 patients.

“I respect the right to protest, as I myself have taken part in a number of protests. This is the way to express disagreement with someone's policy- Kiril Petkov said in an interview for the BNR. – I regret that several people were injured during the protest and that I am not able to go there and talk to people. However, I am ready to meet with representatives of the protestors on Friday, when my quarantine expires. I hope that I will hear constructive ideas on how to manage the next coronavirus wave.”

Ivaylo Kalfin, Executive Director of the European Foundation for the Improvement of the Living and Working Conditions, was not surprised with what happed in front of the National Assembly. “If intensive care units run out of Covid-19 beds, how these protesters are going to explain to the patients that no anti-epidemic measures are needed.”

This is the face of “Vazrazhdane” party and things like this one are yet to happen- Ivaylo Kalfin commented. - This party is using the protest to flex muscles and show its face to society. I cannot think of any other party in Europe leading protests against Covid-19 measures, a party urging the protestors to storm the National Assembly building".

“We are seeing a medical problem put to the worst kind of use for political purposes. In the context of the current situation in Bulgaria, things are even worse, because there are so many fatalities”, Associate Professor Hristo Hinkov, head of the National Center for Public Health and Analysis said for the BNR.

It would be very dangerous if the government were to be influenced by such types of protests, Evelina Slavkova from Research Center Trend pointed out in her analysis after yesterday’s protests against the green certificate. “Anyone who is politically illiterate would underestimate the presence of “Vazrazhdane” in the National Assembly. However, this is the political formation that will cause tension and problems in the future.”

“We have another issue here, which is far from being insignificant, because it is connected with peoples’ health. “Vazrazhdane is using this topic for political reasons and they have no other choice, because they managed to enter the National Assembly with the rhetoric against the green certificates.”

The number of anti-vaxxers in Bulgaria is not small at all, Evelina Slavkova went on to say.

 Dr. Asparuh Iliev, head of a laboratory at the University of Bern and expert in vaccine safety, said he had doubts that the soft anti-epidemic measures can be the real cause of discontent. On the other hand, such mass gatherings favor the spread of the Omicron variant, contends Dr. Iliev.

“Once again i hear people saying that doctors are killing patients in hospitals, the expert went on to say.- It is absolutely outrageous and it is high time the Prosecutor’s Office took adequate measures, because such accusations are unacceptable. We must grow up, once and for all, stop acting as teenagers and learn to listen to the experts, instead of hearing what we want to hear”.

Compiled by: Diana Tsankova (interviews by Horizont channel of the BNR)

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

Photos: BGNES
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