Bulgarian transport carriers threaten counter-blockade if protesting Greeks shut border
The Bulgarian Association of International Carriers said on January 18 that it would mount a counter-blockade if protesting Greek farmers went ahead with shutting down border checkpoints as planned.
The carriers’ association stance came a day after a similar statement by the union of Bulgarian transport workers.
Greek farmers protesting against tax and other reforms have threatened an open-ended blockade of the country’s borders, including with Bulgaria, from January 23. Should the blockade go ahead, it would be a repeat of events of February 2016, which caused serious disruption at the Greek border and led to complaints from Bulgarian officials and transport firms.
Yordan Arabadzhiev, executive director of the Bulgarian Association of International Carriers, said that the association would proceed with a counter-blockade, recalling the huge financial losses suffered by Bulgarian transport companies last year.
The Greek blockade of 2016 lasted more than month and resulted in financial damage to Bulgarian companies estimated at more than 20 million euro.
Bulgaria’s outgoing Interior Minister Roumyana Buchvarova visited the Kulata border checkpoint with Greece on January 18. She said that Bulgaria was in constant contact with Greek authorities for advance information about possible protests.
On January 17, the union of Bulgarian transport workers sent a statement to all of the country’s state and government institutions, urging them to act to prevent the border being closed because of the Greek protests.