Bulgarian police hold silent protest over low pay
Around 1,000 Bulgarian police officers held a silent protest outside the Interior Ministry to demand better pay and working conditions.
Around 1,000 Bulgarian police officers held a silent protest outside the Interior Ministry on Saturday to demand better pay and working conditions in the European Union's poorest state.
The police officers, banned by law from striking, handed a list of demands to the deputy interior minister. Their protest comes amid rising public anger over corruption and slow reforms as the global economic downturn and Russian gas supply cut bite.
"We are here, because of the extremely bad working conditions. Officers have to bring their own paper in order to work," Ivan Pavlov, a policeman from the town of Lovech said.
A wave of protests during the global financial crisis have struck cities in Bulgaria, Greece, Iceland, Latvia and Lithuania, where police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators on Friday.
The Bulgarian policemen have held several meetings since December to discuss how to pursue their demands for a 50 percent pay rise and improved working conditions.
Students and environmentalists, who held an anti-government demonstration for a fourth day in Sofia on Saturday, backed the police demands, saying they also suffer from inept governance.
Reuters Last Mod: 17 Ocak 2009, 22:07