The crisis in football has been reflected in the governing assembly hours after clashes between police and football fans on Thursday night. PP-DB demanded the resignation of Interior Minister Kalin Stoyanov because of the pogrom in Sofia. GERB responded with fire at the capital’s mayor, Vasil Terziev, and demanded that sports minister Dimitar Iliev be removed from his post. DPS joined the GERB side with support for Kalin Stoyanov.
Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov let it be known that he is not inclined to part ways with Stoyanov if GERB disagrees, but at the same time he did not spare his criticism of him. At the same time, however, he fired his deputy Stoyan Temelakiev and scolded the superiors of the SDVR for having gathered opposing agitators in one place. By law, the ministerial resignation is voted by the parliament, and the removal of a deputy minister is the power of the prime minister.
“There are demands for the resignation of Minister Kalin Stoyanov. I will discuss this matter first with Deputy Prime Minister Maria Gabriel, who is now abroad. We will also discuss the next steps on this topic with herDenkov said.
The Prime Minister stated that during the protests, the Minister was at the cinema, which was quite disturbing. Stoyanov was not present at the cabinet meeting, but was replaced by Temelakiev, who had already been dismissed. In addition, Stoyanov claimed that nothing so serious had happened even after the clashes.
Denkov also commented that he had no criticism of the sports minister because he had nothing to do with the organization of the matches. It was done by the football union and the police.
The minister was not at the protest because it is not the job of the political leadership to direct the operational activity on the ground. He was at a movie screening, but not for pleasure. He watched a film about phone scams, on which the Ministry of the Interior is a consultant. Operational management is the responsibility of the Chief Secretary.
This was stated by Stoyanov himself a few hours after the prime minister hinted that he had demonstrated a frivolous attitude by going to the cinema and claiming that nothing special happened on Thursday. The Minister of Power commented that he was neither at a pub nor at a disco. He didn’t turn off his phone and knew what the situation was all the time.
“The script is all about phone scams, it’s really a problem. I personally believe that this film will play a good preventive role in the line of phone scams“, the minister said.
Stoyanov was adamant that he will not resign, as PP-DB insists. He explained that if he leaves the post, he will betray all the officers who on Thursday kept the public order.
They can’t beat the bars
Insisting on Stoyanov’s resignation, PP-DB co-chairman Kiril Petkov stated that people could not be beaten in establishments. He stated that the head of the football union, Borislav Mihailov, should also part with his post.
Petkov refers to the invasion of the gendarmerie in an establishment located in the sports ministry. Several dozen customers were forced out of there, and some of them were beaten while sitting on their chairs. The police claim that they entered because people who set a police bus on fire hid there.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of the Interior claims that they reacted adequately. On Friday, the head of the metropolitan police, Lubomir Nikolov, said that if they had stood idly by, it would have become even worse.
“There is no police force in the world that would let vandals destroy property in the center of any capital city. If we had not reciprocated, many innocent citizens and journalists would have sufferedhe commented.
One of those taken out of the establishment has already been charged and is considered the direct perpetrator of the arson, the head of the metropolitan police also said.
“Walking into an establishment with his, shall we say jokingly, pyromaniac tendencies, we can’t be sure that innocent citizens won’t get hurt, and now you’d be asking me completely different questionsNikolov said.
The mayor is to blame
GERB is trying to blame the newly elected mayor of Sofia, Vasil Terziev.
The leader of GERB, Boyko Borisov, stated that it was not Stoyanov, but Sports Minister Dimitar Iliev who should have resigned. The former prime minister commented that in recent days the minister had been fueling the tension. Borisov accused Terziev of allowing rival agitators to gather for a supposedly peaceful protest.
“Because of one person, let me not call him Borislav Mihailov with the most insulting words, blood was spilled in Sofia and Terziev allowed this thing to happen. As a result, these provocations could not be ignored. And the most interesting thing is that at 7.30, when Sofia is burning, I receive an email for a meeting from the mayor of Sofia. At 7.30 – instead of looking at the city, he writes me an email“, the GERB leader also said.
Terziev: No institution gave a sign that provocations were expected
The Metropolitan Municipality recalled that by law the mayor does not allow protests, and the regime for them is consensual. The organizers submit a notification to the municipality and if, when coordinating the protest with the Ministry of Interior, it turns out that the police believe that it should not take place, then the mayor can ban the event. In the past, there were similar cases with the onion march. However, there have also been cases in which marches and protests took place despite the mayor’s ban.
“Last night I was a direct witness of what happened in the center of Sofia during the declared peaceful protest. The sight was traumatic. The worst thing is how many people were injured. Even after the protest ended, I met citizens on the streets who had suffered . What we will hardly erase is the unpleasant feeling from the aggression shown. From the fact that the protest remained peaceful only on paper and people suffered,” wrote Vasil Terziev later on his Facebook profile.
He added that when coordinating the protest with the municipality, “none of the responsible institutions gave a sign that provocations and problems were expected”.
“The law is clear – the responsibility lies with the organizers and the Ministry of the Interior. It hurt me both as a citizen and as the mayor of Sofia to see how everything around us is destroyed, burned and broken intentionally”he also writes in the post.
Earlier, the municipality recalled that there was only one notification for the football fans’ demonstration. In addition, the damage caused to the public infrastructure has already been described and will be claimed against the organizers. Restoration of broken stakes and fences has already begun.
“I can’t remember when Fandakova was responsible for a protest in Sofia – for the painting of the pillars of the National Assembly, the spraying around the National Assembly or in the “Night of the White Bus”? Quick resignation of the Minister of the Interior and an investigation into the violence of police officers against protesters Resignation of Bobi Mihailov, who has become “this incredible, this fantastic” failure of football in Bulgaria“, MP Ivaylo Mirchev wrote on Facebook.
In addition to GERB, Stoyanov also has support from DPS, it became clear from the statement of the head of their parliamentary group, Delyan Peevski. He commented that the PP-DB wanted to oust the Minister of Power because he refused to work for them in the elections.
“I found out from people on his team that he didn’t and that’s why they’re asking for his resignation. For a person who did not meddle in the elections, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs did its job – it is absurd to ask for his resignation“, said Peevski.