news 25 Jul 13

Bulgaria PM Calls for Dialogue Over Reforms

Plamen Oresharski called for a public consensus on government goals - at the same time urging protesters to draw back from the kind of violence seen in Sofia lately.

Prime Minister Oresharski on Thursday said that the government had a clear plan of stabilization measures aimed at improving social conditions and the business climate.

The government sought a public consensus and dialogue on implementation of the measures stipulated in its program, he noted.

"Finding an exit from the crisis and restoring statehood, justice and development in Bulgaria requires consensus," he said.

Oresharski's statement comes on the 42nd day of anti-government protests in Bulgaria.
The start of the rallies followed the appointment on June 14 of a controversial media mogul, Delyan Peevski, as chair of the State Agency for National Security, DANS.

Protesters were not appeased by the subsequent cancellation of the decision and went on to demand the resignation of the Socialist-led cabinet over its alleged ties with oligarchs.

On Tuesday, the 40th anti-government rally ended with protesters blocking the doors of the parliament, trapping more than 100 MPs, journalists and staff inside.

They were not evacuated until 3.30am on Wednesday, following a night of clashes between protesters and riot police.

In his address on Thursday, Oresharski said those protesting in the name of democratic values should respect the line between the right to express one's opinions freely and abuse of the rule of law, civic freedoms and public order.

"The fact that the peaceful protests of citizens were taken over by acts of vandalism, street barricades, physical clashes and provocation against police officers, is one of the most unpleasant signs of the crisis of values that plagues society," he added.

Oresharski said that it was important for all national institutions and social groups to show willingness to engage in dialogue "in order to maintain Bulgaria's reputation as an EU member state and the security of all Bulgarian citizens".

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