By SOPHIA ROTHMAN, age 10
The resignation of Boiko Borisov, the former prime minister of Bulgaria, after a nationwide protest in February, brought joy to many of its citizens; the protests before his resignation were the worst in 15 years.
Bulgaria, a small country and one of the poorest in Eastern Europe, was in the middle of an immense corruption scandal. Electric bills had skyrocketed and protesters, including young kids, were waving the country’s flag and shouting words of anger at the government in the streets of Sofia, the capital city.
The citizens were angry at the wave of corruption, political instability, the high cost of living, low wages and their unsure futures. “For me, it’s new to see so many people protesting. It’s great that people don’t sleep and are ready to declare their disagreement on the street,” says Genadi Nedelchev, a 25-year-old office worker. There has been corruption in the voting system; in a recent election, 350,000 illegal ballots were found in a printing press owned by a government official.
This protest follows unrest in other countries, including Brazil, Turkey and the United States. The Bulgarian people are making less money as resources are not being shared evenly, which has resulted in a high rate of people moving abroad. More recently, in response to the protests, the government announced that the minimum salary will be raised by 10 percent in January 2014.
Bulgaria joined the European Union (EU) in 2007, with the hope of improving their economy, but most people are still waiting to see this happen.