Taxi drivers from all over Bulgaria protest because a colleague was shot

Taxi drivers from all over the country protested in front of the courthouse in Sofia in support of their colleague from Yambol, who was shot at work in 2017. The demonstration is also against the court’s decision.

On 11/12/2017, Apostol Valchev was shot while at work by two customers near Yambol. A series of lawsuits followed, reducing the perpetrators’ sentences and changing the charge from attempted murder with intent to robbery to “intimidation” and mean bodily harm, protest organizers said.

There is no person in the industry who has not been the object of aggression. When I see customers wanting me to stop but not sober, I pass them by. The problem is when they order a taxi over the phone. Then you don’t know what kind of people you will come across, one of the protesters, a taxi driver with over ten years of experience, told BTA.

According to those working in the industry, the main problem is that the radio stations, through which taxi drivers used to communicate and take requests years ago, have been removed. When we had a problem, I would call the radio station and colleagues would come, but now that we have tablets, it is impossible, says another protester.

According to them, there is a need for legal changes, but they are not optimistic that they can happen. There is also a lack of unification of those working in the field. One of the reasons is again the lack of radio stations. “We used to talk about them. If there were now – the cars here and the protesters would be much more,” said another of those gathered in support of Apostol Valchev. Another issue cited by the industry is the lack of a panic button in cars, which years ago was mandatory but was later removed as a requirement.

The protest started at “Knyaz Alexander I Battenberg” square, where the drivers of the protest parked their cars and later moved in front of the Courthouse.

The article is in bulgaria


Tags: Taxi drivers Bulgaria protest colleague shot