Bulgarian freight carriers blocked traffic at the Kapitan Petkov Voivoda checkpoint at the Bulgarian-Greek border on February 17 in a counter-move against blockades by protesting Greek farmers.
The Bulgarian lorry drivers blocked traffic of all types of vehicles from 8am, allowing motorists 10 minutes to leave the border post, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television said.
It was not clear how long the border blockade at the checkpoint would remain in effect. The carriers repeated their demand for Bulgaria and Greece to resolve the problem of the Greek farmers’ continuing border blockades, which the Greeks have been mounting in protest against tax and pension system reforms.
Yordan Arabadzhiev, executive director of the Association of International Carriers, told Bulgarian National Radio that the Bulgarian blockade was “for the good of the entire automotive business”. He said that the association wanted to preserve a clear and basic principle of the EU, the free movement of people, goods and capital.
He said that the Bulgarian transport industry was suffering losses running into many millions of leva.
“Perhaps 10 million, but we cannot say precisely, because there are direct losses related to defaults on delivery of goods, there are penalties associated with the destruction of cargo, payment of drivers, increase fuel consumption, lost profits,” Arabadzhiev said.
Meanwhile, the Bulgarian-Greek border checkpoint at Kulata-Promachonas remained closed, with a human chain of Bulgarian lorry drivers blocking the Bulgarian side.
According to BNR, on the morning of February 17, all types of motor vehicles were able to pass through the Ilinden-Exochi border checkpoint, while the border crossings at Makaza, Zlatograd and Ivailovgrad were operating normally.