Sunday Feb 10, 201305:00 PM GMT
Bulgarians nationwide protest over higher power bills
Bulgarians protest over higher electricity bills on February 10, 2013.
Bulgarians protest over higher electricity bills on February 10, 2013.
Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:59PM
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Bulgarians have staged rallies across the country to protest at their higher electricity bills by burning the invoices in front of a power distribution headquarter.


In the European Union’s poorest country, thousands of marchers took to the streets in 15 cities on Sunday to protest at the dramatically high power bills for December 2012.

A 13-percent-price hike was approved by the government in July 2012; however the real impact was felt when the cold winter has pushed consumption up.

Protesters chanted slogans such as “mafia” and “resignation,” while burning their electricity bills and demanding power distributors to be re-nationalized.

Two cars belonging to one of the country's power distribution companies, the EVN, were also set on fire.

Some customers have received 100 percent higher bills compared to their November bill.

Both the country's energy ministry and power distributors said they have ordered checks on higher bills and were investigating the complaints.

Electrical bills take a huge part of the citizens’ incomes, especially during the cold winter months in a country where the average monthly pay is 350 euros (USD 468), just a fraction of the EU norm.

CAH/PKH
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