Bulgaria seeking ‘solution’ to Greek farmers’ blockade of border crossings – Foreign Minister

Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov said on February 2 that authorities in Sofia were using all available diplomatic channels to solve the issue of Greek farmers blocking traffic at border checkpoints between Bulgaria and Greece.

“We have stepped in already. The Bulgarian ambassador in Athens has met with authorities at all levels, responsible for solving [the issue] and improving the situation. We have received assurances of co-operation,” Mitov said, as quoted by Bulgarian National Radio (BNR).

Hundreds of farmers have been blocking, almost daily, border crossings between the two countries in recent weeks, protesting against pension reform plans, which envision reducing tax breaks for farmers. The farmers also intend joining in a general strike called in Greece for February 4 over social security amendment legislation.

The situation escalated on the afternoon of February 1, when traffic at the Ilinden-Exochi crossing had been halted for nearly five hours.

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(Photo: stanimir.stoyanov/flickr.com)