Protesting Greek farmers fail in bid to block Bulgarian border

Greek police and gendarmerie stopped an attempt on January 26 by protesting Greek farmers to blockade the border with Bulgaria.

The main road from Thessaloniki remained closed and vehicles were diverted to detour routes.

Dozens of tractors have been parked on both sides of the Serres – Thessaloniki road since January 25.

At noon on January 26, farmers with tractors held a meeting to discuss their next steps, but the numerical superiority of the police prevented them from succeeding in a border blockade, as special police vans and police equipped with riot shields closed their path to the Bulgarian border.

Similarly to the prolonged motorway and border blockades of February 2016, the Greek farmers are protesting against planned tax reforms and increased social security contributions.

On January 26, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Radio said that Bulgarian journalists near the northern Greek city of Serres had been assaulted and threatened by protesting farmers.

According to the report, after Bulgarian journalists arrived in Serres, as Greek police were barring the farmers from getting to the border, some of the farmers attacked the Bulgarian television crews, damaging some TV cameras and issuing threats against the Bulgarians.

So far, Greek police had managed to prevent the movement of agricultural machinery to the Bulgarian borders, but farmers from villages nearby the Promachonas – Kulata border checkpoint were adamant that nothing could stop them from mounting a protest there.

(Archive photo of the Kulata – Promachonas checkpoint at the Bulgarian-Greek border: Anton Lefterov)




The Sofia Globe staff

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