Bulgarian MPs in controversial ‘resignation’ call incident during visit to Mt Athos

Members of Bulgaria’s Parliament, among them Ataka ultra-nationalist Pavel Shopov, were involved in an incident on a ferry boat from Greece’s Mount Athos when a Bulgarian theologian chanted “resign!” at them, recording the incident on video.

The incident took place on October 26 as a group of MPs from all four parties in Parliament – GERB, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Movement for Rights and Freedoms and Ataka – travelled on the boat to the port town of Ouranoupolis.

The MPs had been to the men-only Mount Athos, a closed peninsula complex of monasteries that is a holy place to Eastern Orthodox Christians, for pilgrimage, prayer and fasting.

But Bulgarian tourists who saw them shouted “resign” (ostavka – the rallying cry of more than four months of Bulgaria’s anti-government public protests) and booed the group of politicians, according to one of the MPs who was on the trip, Stanislav Ivanov, a member of opposition party GERB.

According to Ivanov, on the ferry to Ouranoupolis, Shopov was angered when theologian Svetozar Stoyanov approached the MPs, chanting “resign” while recording with his camera.

Allegedly, Bulgarian Socialist Party MPs Hristo Monov and Ivan Ivanov got involved in the incident, pulling Stoyanov aside and telling him to hand over the recording, which Stoyanov refused to do.

To read the full story, click here.

(Ouranoupolis on the Mount Athos peninsula in Greece. Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)