This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Bulgarian Gov't Resigns After Violent Protests

Some protesters demanded that the country nationalize the utility companies.

The protests were mostly peaceful at first, but they turned violent on Sunday and even more so on Tuesday evening, when people hurled stones and bottles at police.

Police in riot gear responded by clubbing protesters. At least 15 were injured, and TV footage from the scene showed some demonstrators with head wounds.

Despite the government's resignation, some political observers said it could be seen as a fair gesture toward the protesters and strengthen the incumbents' position in early elections.

It has been clear for some time now that the center-right government, in power since 2009, had lost public support amid the country's worst economic downturn in a decade and ahead of general elections planned in July.

Austerity measures designed to reduce public debt have been unpopular. They include curbing state spending on social programs such as health care and education. Championed by outgoing Finance Minister Simeon Dyankov, they were sharply criticized by the trade unions.

Dyankov's "austerity policies led many small companies into bankruptcy, raising unemployment and causing widespread poverty," said Konstantin Trenchev, leader of the influential Podkrepa trade union.

Many Bulgarians feel squeezed by low wages ⿿ the lowest in the EU at ⿬360 ($480) a month ⿿ and prices that keep rising. They feel betrayed by promises that were made that joining the EU would bring them a better life.

Power distributors say rising utility prices have been caused by a longer accounting period, unusually cold weather and more power being used to heat homes.

In an effort to appease the protesters, the prime minister on Tuesday announced an 8 percent cut in energy prices, promised to revoke the power distribution license of CEZ, and fired the finance minister. But these measures were not enough to quell the unrest.

2 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,279.74 +13.75 0.08%
S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.96 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,579.7890 -13.6380 -0.30%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs