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Bulgarians Divided amidst Liberation Day

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TEHRAN, March 4 (ICANA)- “Unity renders power”. This is the motto of the Bulgarian Parliament and of the state as a whole. But the Bulgarian nation is obviously deeply divided. This conclusion illuminates most brightly in their biggest national holiday - Liberation Day.
Friday, March 04, 2011 12:15:11 PM
Bulgarians Divided amidst Liberation Day

This is the monument of the Russian emperor Alexander whose army liberated Bulgaria from the Ottoman Turks 133 years ago. It has been standing right opposite the Bulgarian Parliament for more than a century now, as a symbol of highest gratitude. But as the years have passed, the Bulgarian society doesn't seem that grateful anymore.

Many deputies, citizens and members of the Russian community gathered to celebrate Russia's contribution to the liberation of Bulgaria and to oppose the numerous calls for the demolition of all Russian monuments that bear any sentiment for the half-century Communist rule in Bulgaria, Press TV reported.

In a separate event, several thousands took to the street to protest against what they call “ultimate dependency from Russia” - mostly seen in the energy supplies. They said Bulgaria shouldn't call itself “a free state” and voiced their clear demands:

The Turkish Ambassador to Bulgaria has sent a letter of protest to the President. He even insisted for Bulgaria to pick another date for a National holiday, as celebrating the liberation from the Ottoman Empire was "offensive" for the nearly 1 million Turks in Bulgaria.

Experts believe Bulgaria's top officials preferred to remain fairly ignorant to the people's mixed emotions and simply stick to the protocol in this delicate situation:

Despite the cold winter day, thousands of Bulgarians had their reasons to go to the streets. Some wanted to celebrate, other needed to protest… And in the end, it seems unity in this nation remains just an inscription above the institutional offices.

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