Bulgarian political crisis: protesters’ demands, in English

Written by on February 25, 2013 in Bulgaria, News, Perspectives - No comments

On February 24, Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev appeared in front of the protest rally in Sofia to accept a document with the official demands made by protesters. These have been passed on to Parliament, the acting Cabinet and other state institutions. The Presidency also made the document public (in Bulgarian); a full verbatim translation into English follows (formatting and grammar left unchanged).

Open letter to:
Rossen Plevneliev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria
Bulgarian and foreign media

From the civic initiative committee

Concerning: the irresponsible behaviour of political parties and their lack of desire to work in the interest of Bulgarian people.
Concerning: the financial damages and robbery of Bulgarian citizens, through bills for electricity and heating.

As Bulgarian citizens: we insist on immediate measures easing the financial burden imposed by monopolies on Bulgarian citizens.
We insist on full transparency and clear commitments from the President on the issues under discussion.

We insist that our constitutional rights are observed, such as:

Article 4, paragraph 2: The Republic of Bulgaria shall guarantee the life, dignity and rights of the individual and shall create conditions conducive to the free development of the individual and of civil society.

As Bulgarian citizens, we will exercise our constitutional right from:

Article 1, paragraph 2: The entire power of the State shall derive from the people. The people shall exercise this power directly and through the bodies established by this Constitution.

Our exact demands at this stage are:
1. No dissolution of the National Assembly.
2. Creation of a civic council of experts with a mandatory civic quota, which would draft a programme to carry out the citizens’ demands.
3. Creation of a programme government.
4. Signing an agreement between the civic council and the programme government
– Amending the Electoral Act and switching from proportional to majority election system
– A right for the citizens to recall members of Parliament
– Legal and criminal responsibility for MPs and Cabinet ministers
– 50 per cent civic quotas in all state regulatory bodies

I. Energy
1. Immediate cessation of all litigation against customers of electricity distribution companies, Toplofikatsiya [heating utilities] and water utilities, until the legitimacy of the bills is ascertained.
2. Reduction of the quotas for the production of expensive electricity. 100 per cent of the cheap electricity produced by Kozloduy nuclear power plant to be used to satisfy the needs of the internal market.
3. Passage of electricity distribution companies into state hands, in line with European norms and directives.
4. Removal of all intermediaries. [State electricity utility] NEK should take their functions.
5. Declassification of all contracts with electricity producers for the internal market.
6. Cancellation of all contracts that damage the state and Bulgarian citizens
7. Seeking legal and criminal responsibility for damages to the state from the individuals that signed the respective contracts.

II. Toplofikatsiya
1. The signing of individual contracts with heating utilities. Each customer of the companies with the right to cancel the contract with a one-month notice.
2. An individual meter for the real consumption of heating energy (in MWh) so that the real consumption is known at any given time.
3. Removal of the ‘forecast amount’ notion.
4. Monthly measurement of the real consumption of heating energy.
5. Removal of the heating measurement firms.

III. Water
1. Cancellation of all concessions concerning the delivery of water to Bulgarian citizens.
2. State should take the function of concession companies.

February 24 2013

Initiative committee of citizens of the Republic of Bulgaria, not associated with any political party or similar formation

(Protesters outside Bulgaria’s Parliament on February 24. Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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