Greek farmers’ protest blockade of Bulgarian border postponed – reports

Greek farmers protesting against tax reforms in their country have postponed a planned blockade of Bulgaria’s border, reports said on January 22, the eve of the scheduled start of the blockade.

One of the reasons for the postponement is the serious winter conditions, according to public broadcaster Bulgarian National Radio.

Over the first few days of the week, agrarian associations in Greece will hold meetings in several places to decide when and where they will participate in the protests.

In the northern Greek city of Serres, there will be a symbolic occupation of the offices of the treasury, BNR said.

If by Wednesday January 25, more than 350 tractors can be gathered, the Greek-Bulgarian border checkpoint of Promachanos – Kulata will be blocked.

In some areas, farmers have refused to participate in border blockades, the report said.

The Greek government is continuing negotiations and has promised to meet some of the demands, but only if roads remain open.

Earlier, Yordan Arabadzhiev of the Bulgarian Union of International Carriers said that Greek farmers had abandoned their blockade of the border planned for January 23.

Arabadzhiev said that Bulgarian road transport carriers still had not received compensation for the February 2016 blockade of Bulgaria’s borders by protesting Greek farmers.

Bulgarian transport companies were ready with counter-measures should the Greeks decide to go ahead with their protest, he said.

“If it comes to a blockade, we have clearly have stated our intentions to let only non-Greek agricultural products and fish into Bulgaria, either as imports or as transit,” Arabadzhiev said.

Bulgarian carriers had approached the Greek prosecutor’s office over the annual blockades of the border, he said.

Last year’s border blockade, which lasted more than a month, is estimated to have to cost Bulgaria’s economy several million euro.



The Sofia Globe staff

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