Bulgarian nationalists hold anti-Roma rally



Bulgarian nationalists hold anti-Roma rally Sofia: Hundreds of Bulgarian nationalists staged a large anti-Roma rally on Sunday as political leaders and security chiefs sought to douse tensions after a week of nationwide demonstrations and sporadic violence.

The demonstrators, numbering close to 2,000 according to a news’ agency estimates, marched through central Sofia carrying the national flag and chanted nationalist and anti-Roma slogans. Around 15 people were arrested.

Several hundred supporters of the far-right Ataka party gathered in front of the presidential palace in T-shirts that read "I don't want to live in a Gypsy state" and with a banner saying "Gypsy criminality is a danger to the state."

Party leader Volen Siderov, who is running for president on October 23, called for the death penalty to be brought back, for Roma "ghettos to be dismantled" and for the formation of militias.

The protest came as the Prime Minister and President, Boyko Borisov and Georgy Parvanov, convened a meeting of the national security council to discuss ways of reducing tensions.

Parvanov after the talks called on the media and politicians to "put an end to the language of hatred pushed to the extreme" and vowed that the government would probe the finances of people who lived "a life of luxury."

The latest unrest was originally sparked by the killing a week ago of a youth hit by a van driven by relatives of "King Kiro", a Roma clan boss in the southern village of Katunitsa.

PTI