Greek Farmers Warn of 'More Intense' Blockade on Bulgaria-Greece Border

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | February 6, 2016, Saturday // 08:37
Bulgaria: Greek Farmers Warn of 'More Intense' Blockade on Bulgaria-Greece Border File photo, BGNES

A more intense blockade is due from Saturday across Greece unless farmers' demands to scrap some austerity measures are heard, a Greek daily reports.

Protesters, who have staged blockades for days over a planned pension reform that would increase the value of monthly social contributions is carried through, have severely disrupted traffic both way across Greece's borders, including at the checkpoints with Bulgaria.

As of 06:00 on Sunday, "movement is stopped" at the Kulata-Promachonas and Ilinden-Exochi border crossings, "because of the strike of the Greek farmers," according to the Bulgarian Border Police's website.

It also says trucks have formed a 10-km-long queue at the former checkpoint and a 1-km queue at the latter, on the Bulgarian side of the border.

On Friday, after six hours of talks, representatives of the 62 blockades across the country agreed to intensify blockade if the government in Athens does not act to comply with their demands, daily Kathimerini reports.

It says farmers intend on stepping up the roadblockas on border crossings, junctions and regional airports at noon.

Bulgarian authorities have repeatedly sought cooperation with Greece's government to solve the crisis.

Transit commercial trucks are particularly affected by the blockade, with cars and busses being intermittently allowed to cross into Bulgaria or Greece, respectively.

Trucks have also been granted passage several times over the past week, but hundreds of drivers are still stranded on both sides of the border.

Earlier this week, Greece was left paralyzed by the third general strike in as many months, with thousands protesting against the planned reform which was part of the agreement between Alexis Tsipras's government and international lenders.

Last summer Tsipras secured a third bailout package in yet another effort to tackle the debt crisis the country plunged into in the late 2000s. 

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