Bulgarian police protest over low salaries

Last Sunday an estimated 3,000 police officers in civilian clothing filled a public park close to the interior ministry, saying they had just come to smoke a cigarette.

Bulgarian police protest over low salaries

Around 1,000 Bulgarian police officers gathered near the Interior Ministry headquarters on Sunday for an informal protest designed to press for better pay and working conditions.

For the second time in a week, police organised "a chat" in the capital and several hundred officers attended similar meetings in a dozen provincial towns. Police are banned by law from going on strike.

"We are here once again -- a fact that speaks volumes about how policemen are feeling," one of those attending the protest, who declined to be named, told Reuters.

Last Sunday an estimated 3,000 police officers in civilian clothing filled a public park close to the interior ministry, saying they had just come to smoke a cigarette.

Students last week also held a silent rally urging the Socialist-led government to step up the fight against crime while farmers protested over low subsidies and pay.

Crime and corruption have become major political issues in Bulgaria, the poorest European Union member where the average monthly salary is about 600-700 levs ($428.3-$499.6).

In November, the European Union stripped Bulgaria of 220 million euros ($307.1 million) of EU funds for failing to deal with corruption, the first time the EU executive had taken such a step.

Reuters

Last Mod: 21 Aralık 2008, 18:13
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