January 29, 2020 / 8:01 AM / a month ago

Bulgarian government survives no-confidence vote over water crisis

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria’s government survived as expected on Wednesday a parliamentary vote of no-confidence brought by the opposition Socialists after thousands of people have been left with water shortages since November, leading to public protests.

A total of 124 deputies in the 240-seat parliament voted against the fourth no-confidence vote against the centre-right coalition government led by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, while 102 lawmakers were in favour.

The Socialists sought to topple the government which came to office in 2017, accusing it of failing to prevent severe water shortages in the western city of Pernik - a crisis that led to the ousting of Environment Minister Neno Dimov earlier this month.

The Socialists also blamed the government for failing to impose proper controls over garbage imports and serious air pollution in many cities of the Balkan country.

Prosecutors have charged Dimov with deliberate mismanagement for allowing industrial use of the water of a dam that provides drinking water to about 100,000 people in the city of Pernik despite its decreasing levels.

The government has since come up with a plan to divert part of Sofia’s water supply to Pernik and tighten border controls of imports of scrap and waste materials.

Reporting by Angel Krasimirov and Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Toby Chopra

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