More Blockades at Bulgarian-Greek Checkpoints Expected as Farmers' Protests Continue

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | February 5, 2016, Friday // 09:05
Bulgaria: More Blockades at Bulgarian-Greek Checkpoints Expected as Farmers' Protests Continue Blockade at the Kulata-Promachonas border checkpoint. Photo: BGNES

The protests of Greek farmers are expected to continue obstructing passage through checkpoints along the Bulgarian-Greek border on Friday.

The Bulgarian interior ministry informed on Friday morning that cars and buses are allowed to pass through all checkpoints along the border with Greece.

The passage of trucks is not allowed through Kulata checkpoint, with the queue having reached twenty kilometres in each direction.

The blockade of Ilinden checkpoint was lifted on Thursday night, with passage also restored through Kapitan Petko Voyvoda crossing.

Apart from the protests of farmers, a general strike in Greece on Thursday paralysed the country and led to clashes between protesters and the police.

The farmers have been protesting in the past weeks against the suspension of subsidies and the proposed social security reforms which foresee the increase of tax and pension contributions.

They have repeatedly staged blockades on border checkpoints with neighbouring countries as well as on the Greek road network.

During his visit to London on Thursday, where he participated in the “Supporting Syria and the Region” international conference, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov met with his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras.

Borisov insisted on Greek authorities to intervene and end the blockade at the border.

This was announced by the Bulgarian ambassador to London Konstantin Dimitrov, daily quotes him as saying.

Dimitrov added that Tsipras had accepted the arguments of Borisov, but refrained from revealing the response of the Greek prime minister.

Borisov also raised the issue to European Parliament President Martin Schulz and European Council President Donald Tusk.

During the week, Borisov also had a telephone conversation with Tsipras urging him to take measures on ending the blockade.

The Bulgarian transport ministry summoned the Greek ambassador to Bulgaria, while the foreign ministry called on the European Commission to intervene as the blockade is violating fundamental principles of the EU such as obstructing the free movement of people and goods.

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Tags: Bulgaria, greece, border, farmers, protest, blockade, Boyko Borisov, Alexis Tsipras, EU, European Commission, Kulata, Ilinden, Kapitan Petko Voyvoda, checkpoint
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