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Bulgarian-Greek Border at Kulata Open for Traffic

Date: 08.02.2011

One year ago Greek farmers used machinery and equipment to block the border with Bulgaria for a month, triggering huge losses for Bulgarian business

Traffic is moving at normal pace at the Kulata-Promahon cross point on the Bulgarian-Greek border, the Bulgarian private TV Channel bTV informs mid-day Tuesday.

Greek farmers, however, have declared they are prepared to start an immediate strike while Bulgarian farmers are getting ready to join them.

"We want our Agriculture Minister to hear it loud and clear that our stock-breading is doomed to extinction. If the authorities continue to ignore us, we will close the border," a Bulgarian farmer is quoted saying.

Greek farmers have managed to temporary close the E-79 road between Bulgaria and Greece, but lifted the blockade after the Greek police intervention. They are located 15 km from the Bulgarian side with 100 tractors and other farming equipment. Six of the organizers have been arrested Tuesday morning.

The police are guarding E-79 on the Greek side in order to prevent a tractor blockade similar to one from the beginning of 2010. However, according to the bTV reporter, demonstrators are prone to change their mind and the border can be closed once again Tuesday afternoon.

Farmers want more subsidies and lower Value Added Tax (VAT). Meanwhile barbecue and beverage sales from temporary stands at the border are booming, bTV reports.

On Monday, about 200 Greek textile industry workers arrived at Kulata-Promahon making a human fence and closing the border for traffic.

Last year, Bulgarian businesses reported a total of BGN 15.3 M in losses from the February border blockade by Greek farmers.

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