Bulgaria: Obstruction of key road arteries as protests by miners grow

Obstruction of key road arteries in Bulgaria continued for a fourth day on October 2 as protests by miners and energy workers grew.

The protests are in connection with the future of the country’s coal mines and coal-fired plants, after Bulgaria’s government adopted Territorial Just Transition Plans for the country’s coal-mining regions, envisaging the mines being allowed up to operate no further than the year 2038 and with strategies to attract investment and secure incomes as the country’s coal industry shuts down.

As of October 2, roads blockaded included the Trakia Motorway near Zagora, the Struma Motorway near Dupnitsa, the Pass of the Republic (also known as Hanboaz Pass) and the Rousse – Svilengrad international road near Gulubovo.

Bulgaria’s Road Infrastructure Agency said that traffic was restricted on the Dupnitsa – Kyustendil II-62 road because of the protests. Motorists should use a detour on the Sofia – Kyustendil I-6 road, the agency said.

The agency said that because of traffic difficulties on the Struma Motorway at the 59th kilometre, there was a bypass route in both directions on the Blagoevgrad – Sofia road from the Dupnitsa North road junction to the Boboshevo road junction.

The head of the Podkrepa labour federation, Dimitar Manolov, said on October 2 there was readiness for the miners to go on strike.

(Screenshots via Nova TV)

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