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Bulgarians in Vienna join protest against the attempts to bring down the cabinet

They support the Kiril Petkov cabinet in its fight against the mafia

Photo: Facebook /Protests Austria 2020

Two years after the 2020 summer of protest, when Bulgarians all over the world organized protests to demand the resignation of the then Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and of Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev, who is still in office, Bulgarians in other countries are once again getting organized and taking action in front of the country’s diplomatic missions. Last night, they were in front of the Bulgarian embassy in Vienna to support the government of PM Kiril Petkov in its fight against the mafia, and to say “NO” to early elections that could bring GERB and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms to power.

“We want to see Bulgaria a law-governed country where there is rule of law”, “We want the fight against corruption to continue”, “We don’t want Putin’s regime to have any influence on politics in Bulgaria” – with such calls, Bulgarians in Austria expressed their support for the rising civic discontent in the country, as the parliamentary vote on the motion of no confidence in the cabinet of Prime Minister Kiril Patkov approaches.

Teodor Georgiev

“What we are demonstrating is that we are again ready to put our shoes on and take to the streets of Vienna, and not just Vienna,” Teodor Georgiev, who works in digital marketing in the Austrian capital, and who runs a media outlet about the problems of Bulgarian football, said for Radio Bulgaria. “We have already seen Bulgarians in Belgium, in Germany getting organized. And if things continue in the same direction, people will come out into the streets in other countries as well. We have been seeing the tentacles of the octopus trying to destroy everything that has been achieved in the past six months. But the battle is not over, that is why we are all rallying around this cause.”

In an address, Bulgarians abroad urge the MPs to let their conscience decide which way to vote on the motion of no confidence in the government, and by doing so, to stand up for democracy and the European course of the country.

“The so-called opposition – the people who were in power before, together with those supposedly new faces who keep explaining how they want to govern, are now trying to bury the country with their own hands,” Teodor Georgiev says further. “That is why Bulgarians outside the country are exercising their constitutional rights, and I believe our reaction should be even stronger. We do not want early elections, they are just a waste of time, we do not want the old parties of the status quo to be in power.”

Teodor Georgiev is not surprised by the government crisis triggered by the leader of There Is Such a People Slavi Trifonov, who withdrew his cabinet ministers and went into opposition, allegedly over “North Macedonia”.

“When you are a businessman and that is what you have been doing all your life, the business doesn’t go away, it stays,” he comments. “There is no truth to the reasons cited by Slavi Trifonov, as there is no decision yet. What is more the French proposal was not communicated by Premier Petkov, but by the foreign minister, who is from the quota of There Is Such a People. So that the real reasons for the withdrawal have been harboured for a long time, they are the emergency cord for Slavi Trifonov to pull if the government starts bringing to light things it shouldn’t have.”

Whatever may happen on Wednesday, 22 June, when the National Assembly should put the no confidence motion to the vote, we are definitely in for a hot political summer, says Teodor Georgiev. “Whether in support or against, people are already out in the streets,” he says, and adds that what we must fight against will determine the direction Bulgaria will take – East or West. Whether we will repeat the mistakes of the past will depend on the outcome, he says. 

Photos: Facebook /Protests Austria 2020, personal archive
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