Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said on November 15 that he hopes that protests over “high fuel prices” will stop after prices fall, saying that prices are falling, not because of the protests but because world oil prices are going down.
Borissov said in an interview with bTV that fuel prices in Bulgaria had dropped by 20 stotinki (about 10 euro cents).
“This is the market, we are making huge efforts to lower fuel prices, but they do not depend on us, they depend on the market,” he said.
Recent days have been major traffic disruptions as participants in the protest, who want Borissov’s government to resign, have been blocking motorways and key roads in various parts of Bulgaria.
Borissov said that there was no good reason for his government to resign.
He said that the resignation of Valeri Simeonov from the post of Deputy Prime Minister was not being discussed.
Simeonov has been the target of weeks of protests demanding his resignation over offensive comments he made about protesting mothers of children with disabilities. He is a co-leader of the United Patriots, the grouping of ultra-nationalist and far-right parties that is the minority partner in Borissov’s coalition government.
Separately, reports on November 14 that Ataka, a constituent party of the United Patriots, led by Volen Siderov, would be joining the mothers’ protests demanding the resignation of Simeonov. This comes against a background of months of open tensions between Siderov and Simeonov.
Borissov told bTV: “If one of the country’s parameters was not good, we could talk about the government’s resignation”.
He said that elections now would not produce a different government configuration after them.
Borissov said that he was not afraid of the protests because there was no reason to be.
“It is not pleasant for them to stand under the windows shouting ‘resign’,” Borissov said.
“Moreover, as to the mothers of children with disabilities, we have allocated 150 million leva more in the Budget for next year. And with one unmerited and insulting statement, Valeri Simeonov put them back into the street. I am both sorry and angry.”
Borissov said that there would be changes to his Cabinet, but now was not the time to carry them out.