51% of Bulgarians believe democracy is at risk, poll shows

51% of Bulgarians believe democracy is at risk, poll shows
By bne IntelliNews January 25, 2018

51% of Bulgarian believe that democracy is at risk at the moment, according to poll conducted by Gallup International. The poll also showed that 40% of Bulgarians do not agree with the statement “The democracy in Bulgaria at the moment is threatened”, while 9% have no opinion.

Political tensions in Bulgaria increased significantly in the beginning of 2018 as the country assumed the rotating chairmanship of the European Council. Many people are protesting for various causes with the most distinct group opposing a government’s decision to allow the expansion of a ski resort in the UNESCO-designated Pirin National Park. Thousands people have been protesting since the end of December, when the decision was adopted.

Gallup International’s poll showed that 38% of Bulgarians are associating with a cause that has provoked a protest in the recent weeks, while 60% are not ready to protest or support any cause.

“Although being a minority, they [the 38% of people] are a clear signal that the public tension remains valid,” Gallup International said in a statement.

It added that the tension is rising further as 50% of respondents believe that the recent killings in the country are more likely associated with politics. Several people were murdered in the past weeks with the most significant being the assassination of Petar Hristov – a Bulgarian businessman believed to be close to the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB).

65% of Bulgarians have been aware of publications in international media that Bulgaria is a poor and corrupt country and 82% of them agree with this statement, the poll also showed.