Greek Farmers to Renew Blockade at Border with Bulgaria

Southeast Europe | February 8, 2016, Monday // 08:12|  views

File photo, EPA/BGNES

Greek farmers are set to close the Ilinden-Exochi crossing and other checkpoints on the border between Bulgaria and Greece on Monday amid continuing protests over their government's plans for reform to the pension system.

Movement has been free both ways at Ilinden-Exochi since late on Sunday evening, border police say, but the crossing will be closed to all trafic at 10:00 local time (EET).

At Kulata-Promachonas, the other major checkpoint, only cars and buses are currently allowed to move both ways.

Farmers demand that the government withdraw reform plans and put forward new proposals for social insurance and tax legislation.

There are kilometers-long queues of transit trucks, authorities in both countries say, with losses incurred by businesses yet to be calculated.

Bulgaria last week urged the EU Commission to act swiftly to end the blockade.

However, Deputy PM Tomislav Donchev told public broadcaster BNT over the weekend that neither Sofia nor Brussels had leverage on the farmers or the government in Athens, and the situation had to be dealt with by the cabinet of Greece.

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


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