Protesting Greek Farmers Continue to Block Checkpoints Along Border with Bulgaria

Southeast Europe | February 2, 2016, Tuesday // 11:56|  views

Greek farmers protesting at the Kulata checkpoint located along the Bulgarian-Greek border. Photo: BGNES

The continuing protests of Greek farmers are expected to affect three checkpoints along the Bulgarian-Greek border on Tuesday.

Greek farmers have been protesting in the past weeks due to the suspension of subsidies and the planned social security reforms of the government, which foresee increase of tax and pension contributions.

The Kulata checkpoint has been closed to trucks since Monday afternoon, with a 15-kilometre queue forming on the Bulgaria side of the border.

This resulted in clashes overnight as drivers tried to breach the blockade.

There is a similar situation on the Greek side of the border, with Bulgarian drivers having been blocked for a second day in a row without food and water.

They called on the Bulgarian foreign ministry to intervene by sending a note to Greece.

Greek farmers will also stage a blockade on the Makaza checkpoint on Tuesday.

The protests are expected to begin at 11 o'clock EET, with agricultural machines to be placed on the only road leading to Makaza.

The Bulgarian interior ministry warned that the passage of all vehicles is temporary suspended through the Ilinden border checkpoint on Tuesday.

The reason is renewed protests of Greek farmers between 10 and 15 o'clock EET and then between 17 and 22.30 o'clock EET.

The protesters are threatening to stage 48-hour blockade at Kulata checkpoint.

The protests are affecting other parts of the Greek road network, including the motorway between Athens and Thessaloniki as well as ports and border crossings with neighbouring countries.

A general strike is scheduled to take place in Greece on Thursday.

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Tags: Bulgaria, greece, border, checkpoint, Kulata, Makaza, Ilinden, farmers, protest, reform, Strike, blockade


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