Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski broke his media silence on July 25, nearly 36 hours after the ongoing anti-government protests outside Parliament resulted in clashes between protesters and the police.
Among the chorus of voices defending the police and lambasting the protesters (or a section thereof), Oresharski’s was notable by its absence. His first media appearance, in the form of a statement published on the Government’s website, offered the same mantra that he and his Cabinet have been delivering throughout the six weeks of the protests – the need for dialogue and the implementation of the “Oresharski plan” as the only solution to the current political crisis.
Oresharski thanked the police for “the professionalism and courage shown in controlling the situation of escalating tension” and called on protesters to allow “no further provocations.”
He said that democracy was “incompatible with the forceful imposition of someone’s will over the will of others” and re-iterated the – by now habitual – call for “dialogue in the name of preserving the authority of a European Bulgaria and the security of all Bulgarian citizens.”
However, he made no mention of resigning as prime minister – the main demand made by the protesters. Instead, he once again repeated that “the Government has a clear plan of urgent stabilisation measures to improve the social situation of Bulgarian citizens, the business environment and the democratisation of government.”
The “Oresharski plan” has been criticised by the opposition and protesters as vague – with the exception of several proposed benefit hikes – on issues such as the fight against corruption, contraband and “democratisation of government”.
Oresharski also said that the clashes between protesters and the police “confirmed a worrisome symptom that appeared already on the night after the May 12 elections.”
“The subversion of peaceful civic protests by outright instances of vandalism, street barricades, physical confrontation and provocations towards law enforcement are one of the most unpleasant manifestations of the society’s crisis of values,” he said.
(Plamen Oresharski photo by government.bg)