Chief Correspondent, Romania/Bulgaria
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May 10, 2013

Deadlock looms for Bulgaria as election nears

VELIKO TARNOVO, Bulgaria (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s two main political parties made final pitches to frustrated voters before an election on Sunday that opinion polls show is unlikely to produce a decisive outcome for either side.

Former bodyguard Boiko Borisov’s center-right GERB party was forced to resign in February after thousands of people took to the streets to protest against high utility bills, entrenched corruption and low living standards.

Apr 24, 2013

Before vote, leading Bulgaria party pledges tight spending

SOFIA (Reuters) – Two weeks before an election, the head of Bulgaria’s largest party has refused to bow to demands of protesters who pushed him to resign as premier, pledging to keep a tight rein on spending.

Boiko Borisov, a former bodyguard to communist dictator Todor Zhivkov, stepped down as prime minister in February during a wave of demonstrations against low living standards in the European Union’s poorest country.

Mar 21, 2013

Raiffeisen buys Citi’s Romanian retail portfolio

VIENNA/BUCHAREST, March 21 (Reuters) – Austria’s Raiffeisen
Bank International has agreed to buy Citibank’s
retail portfolio in Romania, which has more than 90 million
euros ($117 million) in assets, it said on Thursday.

The deal – worth less than 100 million euros according to a
source familiar with the situation – is the first such
acquisition since Raiffeisen bought Polbank, the Polish arm of
Greece’s EFG Eurobank Ergasias, last year.

Mar 6, 2013

Insight: Power rustlers turn the screw in Bulgaria, EU’s poorest country

SOFIA (Reuters) – In a rundown area on the edge of Bulgaria’s capital, where violent protests over power prices brought down the government last month, some residents are risking their lives and their neighbors’ wrath to steal electricity.

Struggling to make ends meet in the European Union’s poorest country, thieves bypass the meter or piggyback on someone else’s supply.

Mar 6, 2013

Power rustlers turn the screw in Bulgaria, EU’s poorest country

SOFIA, March 6 (Reuters) – In a rundown area on the edge of
Bulgaria’s capital, where violent protests over power prices
brought down the government last month, some residents are
risking their lives and their neighbours’ wrath to steal
electricity.

Struggling to make ends meet in the European Union’s poorest
country, thieves bypass the meter or piggyback on someone else’s
supply.

Feb 28, 2013

Bulgaria president calls May election after protests

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s president on Thursday called for a new political culture that would prevent citizens being “robbed” and “lied to” as he named an election date of May 12 to try to stem a surge of popular discontent.

Prime Minister Boiko Borisov quit last week after nationwide protests against high electricity prices – the final straw to many citizens in the European Union’s poorest country, who have begun to despair of any improvement in living standards or governance.

Feb 27, 2013

Bulgaria parliament readies power price cuts to soothe anger

SOFIA, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s parliament moved to cut
electricity prices on Wednesday, an attempt to defuse public
anger that forced the government out which risked undermining
attempts to keep the economy on an even keel.

Adding to a sense of political limbo the European Union’s
poorest state, outgoing Prime Minister Boiko Borisov has been
hospitalised with high blood pressure, before an interim
government is appointed to take the country to early elections.

Feb 27, 2013

Bulgaria PM sick in hospital after resigning due to protests

SOFIA, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Outgoing Bulgarian Prime Minister
Boiko Borisov has been hospitalised with high blood pressure,
officials said on Wednesday, adding to a sense of political
limbo before an interim government is appointed to take the
country to early elections.

Borisov resigned last week after two weeks of sometimes
violent protests by tens of thousands accusing the government of
being a “Mafia” due to rampant corruption and its failure to
improve living standards in the European Union’s poorest state.

Feb 22, 2013

Bulgaria government resignation unlikely to stem protests, for now

BLAGOEVGRAD, Bulgaria, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s
government has bowed to popular anger over high electricity
prices and poor governance, but the spirit of protest in
struggling towns like Blagoevgrad has not been quenched.

Blagoevgrad’s Lyudmila Manova has become known as a kind of
Joan of Arc for leading the demonstrations in the town of 70,000
that quickly spread across the European Union’s poorest state.

Feb 20, 2013

Bulgaria government resigns amid growing protests

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s government resigned on Wednesday after violent nationwide protests against high electricity prices, joining a long list of European administrations felled by austerity after Europe’s debt crisis erupted in late 2009.

Many Bulgarians are deeply unhappy over high energy costs, power monopolies, low living standards and corruption in the European Union’s poorest country and protesters clashed again with police late on Tuesday.

    • About Sam

      "I have been a reporter since 2001 and am currently Reuters bureau chief for Romania and Bulgaria. Based in Bucharest, I lead two teams covering politics, economics, companies, culture and sports. I was previously in Switzerland and London, covering topics from healthcare and the UN to oil markets and bank meltdowns."
      Joined Reuters:
      2006
      Languages:
      German, French, Spanish, Romanian
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