Bulgaria Continues to Have the Worst Energy Problems in Europe

ProtestIf people think the energy problems are bad in the UK, they should head over to Bulgaria. There, almost the whole country is struggling to keep the lights on, and the government isn’t able to do much to fix it. As a result, tens of thousands of people just recently marched the cities of Bulgaria. They were protesting high energy prices and demanding that the government do something about it.

Of course, the problems just continue to get worse from there. Due to anger over the energy monopolies in Bulgaria, people demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov’s whole cabinet. With little wiggle room left, the government had no choice but to give into the people’s demands. Now Bulgaria will be forced to take part in an early election to replace the outgoing cabinet.

Borisov’s government did try to put a stop to the terrible financial state of Bulgaria. Since taking office back in 2009, he was able to finally give the government a bit of stability. However, he did this by tightening the purse strings of the whole country. This limited growth and, of course, drove up unemployment.

Borisov being removed from government shows that the people of Bulgaria are fed up with the poor living standards of the country. They are sick of not being able to pay their energy bills. The straw that broke the back of the government was the increase in energy bills this winter. This latest hike meant that energy prices actually exceeded what most families make in a month. In Bulgaria, the average salary is €400.

So how can energy bills be that much every month? Well, it has to do with the fact that power companies in Bulgaria have actually purchased rights to distribute energy in specific areas. This happened back in 2004. Ever since then these regions have gone without any competition. The energy companies are able to raise prices as they see fit, because no other power companies are allowed to sell energy in their area.

As over ten thousand people marched the streets of Bulgaria, they chanted slogans such as “Down with monopolies” and “Fighting for a decent life”. People cried out that it has been four years, and the government has not fixed anything. They let power companies do as they please while they sat back and continued to tighten the country’s budget. The government has to be stopped; something has to change.

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