Blockade Remains at Two Bulgarian-Greek Border Checkpoints as Protests Continue

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | February 12, 2016, Friday // 09:56
Bulgaria: Blockade Remains at Two Bulgarian-Greek Border Checkpoints as Protests Continue Queue of trucks at Kulata border checkpoint. Photo: BGNES

The blockade at two checkpoints along the Bulgarian-Greek border remains as the protests of Greek farmers are continuing on Friday.

At present, the Kulata and Ilinden checkpoints remain closed to trucks, with the passage of cars, minibuses and buses not affected.

The blockade for trucks is expected to be lifted at 11 o'clock (EET) on Friday as had been agreed by Bulgarian and Greek officials earlier this week.

According to the agreement reached on Tuesday, the blockades are to be temporarily lifted during certain hours each day to avoid the piling up of trucks on the border.

The passage of all vehicles was suspended through Kulata, Ilinden and Kapitan Petko Voyvoda crossing on Thursday evening.

All traffic is allowed to pass through the Makaza, Zlatograd and Ivaylovgrad checkpoints, the interior ministry informs.

Further disruptions to traffic are expected both at checkpoints and in the Greek interior as farmers are planning to stage a large-scale protest in Athens on Friday.

Meanwhile, representatives of international transport firms are gathering on the Kulata checkpoint to discuss further joint measures against the continuing blockades of Greek farmers.

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

Tensions at the border have escalated on Tuesday when Bulgarian truck drivers staged a counter-blockade by not allowing vehicles to pass from Greece.

Bulgarian authorities have repeatedly called on Greek officials and the European Commission to take measures against the blockade as it is violating founding principles of the EU such as the free movement of people and goods.

The European Commission responded that there were no legal grounds to launch an infringement procedure or impose sanctions against Greece.

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Tags: Bulgaria, greece, border, checkpoint, blockade, protest, farmers, Kulata, Ilinden, Makaza, Ivaylovgrad, Zlatograd, Kapitan Petko Voyvoda, traffic, trucks, Europen Commission
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