- Title: BULGARIA: Bulgarians hit the polls on final day of European elections
- Date: 25th May 2014
- Summary: SOFIA, BULGARIA (MAY 25, 2014) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF POLLING STATION SECURITY GUARDS AND PEOPLE IN BUILDING POLICEMAN UNLOCKING DOOR OF POLLING ROOM/ COMMISSION ENTERING VARIOUS OF COMMISSION MEMBERS SEALING POLLING BOXES STAMPING PAPERS OBSERVER TAKING NOTES ID LABELS ON VARIOUS ELECTION OBSERVERS COMMISSION MEMBER READING ELECTION RULES VOTERS ENTERING POLLING ROOM (SOUNDBITE) (Bulgarian) VOTER, EMILIAN CHAKAROV, SAYING: "These elections are for the European Parliament. It is very important for Bulgaria to defend its interests, and for the politicians who we vote for to keep the interests of Bulgaria as a member of EU." (SOUNDBITE) (Bulgarian) ELECTION COMMISSION MEMBER, PETAR, SAYING: "We are choosing a Parliament, which will command the whole of Europe. We are a European country, that is why we should integrate closer to the European Union." (SOUNDBITE) (Bulgarian) VOTER, UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN, SAYING: "We are wasting our time here, everything is predetermined. This is what I think." PEOPLE OUTSIDE POLLING ROOM OFFICIAL CHECKING LIST WOMAN COLLECTING VOTING SLIP/WALKING TO VOTING BOOTH MAN CASTING HIS VOTE WOMAN CARRYING CHILD CASTS HER VOTE VARIOUS OF MAN VOTING VARIOUS OF MOTHER AND CHILD AT POLLING STATION VOTING BALLOT BOX VOTERS LEAVING POLLING STATION
- Embargoed: 9th June 2014 13:00
- Location: Bulgaria
- Country: Bulgaria
- Topics: International Relations,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAEAGF3A91GLQJGUHVPC2JDYE1J
- Story Text: Bulgarian voters took to the polls on the final day of the European elections on Sunday (May 25) in Sofia.
Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Poland are among the major EU member states also voting on Sunday, representing the bulk of the 388 million Europeans eligible to cast ballots and elect the 751 deputies to sit in the European Parliament from 2014-2019.
After years of economic crisis, rising unemployment and poor growth, many Europeans have come to question the wisdom of ever-closer EU integration and are expected to vote for Eurosceptic parties on the right or left that promise radical change.
Opinion polls suggest at least a quarter of the seats in the parliament will go to anti-EU or protest groups, but at least 70 percent will remain with the four mainstream, pro-EU blocs: the center-left, center-right, liberals and Greens.
Voter Emilian Chakarov said it was important for the Bulgarian people to vote as it was in the country's best interest.
"These elections are for the European Parliament. It is very important for Bulgaria to defend its interests, and for the politicians who we vote for to keep the interests of Bulgaria as a member of EU," said Chakarov.
Election commission member, Petar said that it was important for Bulgaria to stay close to the EU.
"We are choosing a Parliament, which will command the whole of Europe. We are a European country, that is why we should integrate closer to the European Union," said Petar.
Not all voters were positive.
"We are wasting our time here, everything is predetermined. This is what I think," said a voter who refused to give her name.
Turnout across Europe is expected to fall again, dropping to just over 40 percent, marginally down from 43 percent in 2009. That would continue the trend of declining participation at every European election since the first direct poll was held in 1979.
Parliament leaders will meet in the morning of May 27 to discuss the election results and the Commission presidency.
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