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World: Bulgaria's President calls for government resignation because of "mafia" behavior

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Bulgariens Präsident Rumen Radew hat die Regierung seines Landes wegen © NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV Bulgaria's President Rumen Radew has asked the government of his country to resign because of "mafia" behavior.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radew has asked the government of his country to resign because of "mafia" behavior. "The government's mafia character has prompted Bulgarians of all ages and political backgrounds to demand respect for the law," Radew said on Saturday night in a television speech. With this, the head of state reacted to the search of his offices, for which he blames the conservative prime minister Boiko Borissow.

In the course of the raids, an anti-corruption officer and a security adviser to the President were arrested on Thursday. Her offices were searched in two separate investigations into corruption and the betrayal of state secrets. Thousands of people took to the streets in the capital Sofia to protest the raids. The demonstration resulted in 18 arrests, two demonstrators and four police officers were injured.

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President Radew, supported by the socialists, is a vehement critic of the Borissov government, accusing him of "links to oligarchs". In his television address, the head of state accused the government and the attorney general of "tricking" so that "resigning" was the only solution.

Bulgaria is the EU country where corruption is most widespread, and Radew called on EU partners to take a stance on the conflict. "The European Union needs a democratic Bulgaria," he stressed.

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As Eastern Europe shrinks, rural Bulgaria is becoming a ghostland .
Since the fall of the Eastern Bloc, Bulgaria has lost more than one-fifth of its population — from nearly 9 million to about 7 million. That is roughly equivalent to the percentage of loss seen in Syria over the last decade — the difference being that Syria was at war.Large portions of the countryside have been hollowed out: The population is gone, but the buildings still stand. According to the United Nations, if these trends continue, Bulgaria will contract further to about 5.4 million people by midcentury — a reduction of an additional 23%.

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