Greek farmers used tractors to block the Promachonas – Kulata border checkpoint with Bulgaria on January 28, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Radio reported.
In spite of the stepped-up presence of Greek police and gendarmerie on the main roads and other places where agricultural vehicles had been gathered in large numbers, farmers used a mountain road to circumvent them and emerged about 200 metres from the Bulgarian border.
For about 30 minutes, movement in both directions was completely blocked, the report said. After that, only vehicle traffic from Greece into Bulgaria was possible.
The queue of lorries waiting at the Kulata border checkpoint began to grow rapidly.
A Bulgarian motorist who crossed the border checkpoint from Greece said that he had witnessed clashes between farmers and gendarmerie in Greece, BNR reported.
The Greek farmers are protesting against tax and social security contributions reforms in their country.
Initially, they had planned to begin a blockade of the Greek-Bulgarian border on January 23, but this was postponed because of bad weather and internal organisational issues among the farmers.
Bulgarian goods transport lorry firms have said repeatedly that if the Greeks blocked the border, they would respond with a counter-blockade against Greek goods and produce crossing the frontier.
A lengthy blockade by Greek farmers of the Bulgarian border in February 2016 caused Bulgaria’s economy millions of euro in losses.
Reportedly, the European Commission has warned Greece against failing to act a further blockade of the Bulgarian border in 2017.