Protesting Greek Farmers Stage Blockage of Border with Bulgaria

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | January 27, 2016, Wednesday // 19:43
Bulgaria: Protesting Greek Farmers Stage Blockage of Border with Bulgaria Farmers protest with their tractors in Nafplio, Greece, January 27, 2016. Farmers from all over of Greece protested against the government`s reforms in the social security system and in the taxation. Photo EPA/BGNES

Thousands of Greek farmers on Wednesday rallied at two border crossings between Greece and Bulgaria and elsewhere across their country.

The Ilinden-Exochi border crossing remained sealed off from 11:00 local time (EET) to 14:00, but the blockade was renewed at about 18:00, a Greece-based correspondent of the Bulgarian National Radio says.

Long queues were formed in both directions at the other one, Kulata-Promachonas, with protesters blocking movement until just before 18:00, according to Focus News Agency. 

Farmers are venting their anger at new taxation policies announced by the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

In their words, the new legislation will force them to give back to the state EUR 85 out of every EUR 100 they have earned.

Their representatives say the blockade will be "permanent", despite the government's assurances it is expected to continue through to Friday.

Across the country, there are a total of 66 road blocks agreed by farmers' unions. These meanwhile rejected the invitation Tsipras had earlier extended for talks.

The Greek Reporter writes that farmers on major islands such as Rhodes or Crete are also threatening to join the demonstrations.

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Tags: greece, Alexis Tsipras, farmers, protests, Bulgaria, Kulata-Promachonas, Ilinden-Exochi
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