Bulgaria’s Bansko Reports 15-20 % Drop in Greek Tourists Due to BlockadeTourism | February 29, 2016, Monday // 12:02| views
File photo, EPA/BGNES
The Bulgarian ski resort of Bansko registered a drop of 15-20 % in the number of Greek tourists in the past month due to the blockades staged by Greek farmers at checkpoints along the border with Bulgaria.
This preliminary data was presented by the mayor of Bansko, Geogri Ikonomov, in an interview for Focus radio on Monday.
However there was an increase in the number of Bulgarian, Russian and Turkish tourists as well as visitors from Macedonia, which compensated for the reduced number of guests from Greece.
Ikonomov noted that Greek tourists are among the best and most persistent for the country.
Greek farmers protesting proposed increases to tax and pension contributions staged blockades at the border with Bulgaria in the past month.
Tensions escalated when Bulgarian truck drivers staged a counter-blockade after farmers had failed to keep to their promise to lift the blockade at certain hours each day to avoid the queuing up of trucks.
Drivers threatened to stage counter-blockade for indefinite period of time, including on Easter and during the summer, if farmers do not lift the blockade by Monday.
As of Monday noon, the interior ministry reports of no restrictions to traffic and all six checkpoints on the border with Greece are functioning normally.
During the weekend, Greek farmers started to withdraw the agricultural machinery they had amassed at the checkpoints.
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