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Bulgarian PM sacks finance minister

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov sacked Finance Minister Simeon Djankov on Monday in the wake of massive protests over the past week that erroded support for the right-wing government.

"Prime Minister Boyko Borisov will propose to parliament to dismiss Simeon Djankov as deputy prime minister and minister of finance," the government press office said.

Regional Development Minister Lilyana Pavlova, Borisov's most popular cabinet member with 30-percent support according to the latest Gallup opinion poll, will be proposed to step up as vice premier, it added.

The finance portfolio will meanwhile go to the current EU Fund Management Minister Tomislav Donchev, who garnered 18-percent support in the poll, compared to Djankov's 11 percent.

The government reshuffle comes just a day after tens of thousands of Bulgarians took to the streets on Sunday in one of their largest shows of anger in recent years.

The demonstrations, which started as a protest against high January electricity bills in the EU's poorest country, grew into massive discontent against the government's inability to curb widespread favouritism and corruption and do away with monopolies.

The protests come just five months ahead of the next general elections in July, erroding the popularity ratings of Borisov's right-wing government, which now garners 22 percent support, or as much as the opposition Socialists.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130218/bulgarian-pm-sacks-finance-minister