Another self-immolation in Bulgaria

The BBC examines the fourth instance in the past month of a protester setting himself on fire.

The man, 52, threw petrol over himself outside the presidential palace in Sofia, police said.

Security guards extinguished the flames and he was taken to hospital with severe burns where an official said his life was in danger.

The man’s motives were not known but the incident follows weeks of protests against poverty, high fuel bills and corruption.

The incident happened on Wednesday, the same day the caretaker government began setting the stage for the upcoming election. Business Week explores what’s at stake in the interim.

“The biggest challenge of this government will be to restructure the labor market and create new jobs,” Georgi Ganev, program director at the Center for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, said. “There will be strong opposition from syndicates and other circles.”

The new Cabinet has three deputy prime ministers. Ilyana Tsanova, 37, who worked in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London, is in charge of European Union funding. Ekaterina Zaharieva, who was the chief secretary of the President’s office, is also the regional development minister and Deyana Kostadinova, who is also labor and social policy minister.

Assen Vassilev, a Harvard alumni, is the new minister of economy, energy and tourism.

Here is a brief bio on the new prime minister, Marin Raikov.

This entry was posted in Bulgaria, democracy, diplomacy, political activism, politics. Bookmark the permalink.

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