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Bulgaria Export, Tourism Hit Hard by Greek Border Blockade

Date: 20.01.2010

The composite daily losses incurred to the Bulgarian economy by the blockade of the border with Greece by protesting Greek farmers is about EUR 3 M.

This has been announced by Bulgaria’s Economy Minister, Traicho Traikov, who met Wednesday with the Greek Ambassador to Bulgaria, Her Excellency Danae-Magdalini Koumanakou.

Traikov said the Greek authorities were currently discussing the options it could offer to the protesting farmers who demand higher prices for their produce.

He explained that the Bulgarian government was going to await the position of the Greek government before it resorts to “Plan B” - i.e. filing a complaint with the European Commission and asking for compensations.

According to the crisis headquarters of the Bulgarian government – which includes officials from three Ministries – Economy, Transport, and Agriculture, the total daily loss for the Bulgarian economy from the blockade is about EUR 3 M.

The losses from failed export are some EUR 2,5 M per day. This includes about EUR 1 M daily loss from the inability to export Bulgarian agricultural products to the Greek market. The termination of the imports from Greece is also important as it can lead to price hikes of certain goods in Bulgaria such as citrus fruits.

Bulgaria’s tourism sectors loses about EUR 500 000 daily from the terminated from of Greek tourists, according to data from the towns of Bansko and Sandanski which have seen the number of Greek visitors tenfold since the start of the blockade.

Bulgarian transport firms are losing some EUR 150 000 daily fromtheir trucks stuck at the border, according to the Auto Administration Agency and the branch organizations.

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