All Bulgaria-Greece Border Crossings Open to Movement on Sunday Evening

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | February 21, 2016, Sunday // 21:22| Views: 5352 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: All Bulgaria-Greece Border Crossings Open to Movement on Sunday Evening File photo, EPA/BGNES

Vehicles are moving both ways through the Bulgaria-Greece border at all crossing points as of Sunday evening, Bulgaria's Interior Ministry has said.

The development follow a month of blockades set up by protesting Greek farmers along their country's borders and nearly a week of a "counter-blockade" staged by Bulgarian transit truck drivers in response.

As of Sunday evening, both the Kulata-Promachonas and Ilinden-Exochi checkpoints, which had been closed by farmers and blocked by drivers, and the other four Bulgarian-Greek border crossings where a counter-blockade was in place on the Bulgarian side, are open to movement.

However, no permanent end to the blockade has been announced.

Free movement across all checkpoints is possible at least until Monday morning.

Greek farmers lifted the blockade on Sunday, after two unsuccessful attempts at negotiation with Bulgarian officials earlier in the weekend.

Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski subsequently called on transit truck drivers, some of whom had been waiting on the border for a week, to lift the counter-blockade, allowing vehicles to move both ways.

A member of the road haulage workers described the farmers' blockade as "political" and quoted representatives of farmers who took part in Saturday's negotiations as saying their action will be over as soon as "Prime Minister Tsipras tells them".

He told Focus Radio the counter-blockade was probably lifted because of prevalent attitudes in Europe of the past few days that it was action by Bulgarian drivers that caused the situation to escalate.

 

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Tags: Bulgaria, greece, border crossings, Kulata-Promachonas, Ilinden-Exochi, farmers, Ivaylo Moskovski
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