Far-right nationalists march through EU presidency capital Sofia

Sofia (AFP) –


Hundreds of far-right nationalists marched Saturday night through Sofia, capital of current EU president Bulgaria, lighting torches to honour a late pro-Nazi general.

Local authorities tried to ban the rally that has been held every year for over a decade, and which the government has slammed as "shameful".

But organisers obtained a court order allowing them to proceed.

Dozens of members of far-right groups from across Europe also took part.

"We object to being called anti-Semites, neo-Nazis, or fascists. We are simply nationalists," rally leader Zvezdomir Andronov told AFP.

Swede Robert Eklund from the Nordic Resistance Movement said that he was in Bulgaria "to fight a common enemy -- multiculturalism, globalisation and the EU", adding he wanted "to stop non-European immigration."

The black-clad protesters marched through downtown Sofia for over two hours, lighting torches and chanting the name of Hristo Lukov, a Bulgarian general known for supporting Nazi Germany during World War II and for his anti-Semitic views.