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Bulgarian Premier Slams Greece Over Border Blockades by Farmers January 20, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Bulgaria, Yunanistan.
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Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said neighboring Greece is not doing enough to clear roadblocks by protesting farmers that have halted traffic across the border between the two European Union nations.

Greek farmers blocked roads leading to the Bulgarian border yesterday to press demands for higher prices for agricultural products. Cars and trucks carrying goods to destinations ranging from Poland to Italy are stranded on both sides of the border, Todor Georgiev, head of border police in southern Bulgaria, said today on Bulgarian state radio Horizont. The lines of traffic stretch for two kilometers (1 1/4 miles), he said. 

“It is obvious that Greek authorities are not taking all necessary measures in their competence to ensure free movement of goods through this internal EU border,” Borissov said in a letter to European Commission President Jose Barroso. “The Greek farmers’ form of protest affects the interests of shipping companies in Bulgaria and other EU countries. Commercial contracts are being breached.” 

Bulgarian trucking companies suffered losses of as much as 10 million euros ($14.3 million) over a week during a similar protest by Greek farmers a year ago, Borissov said in the letter, a copy of which was e-mailed to Bloomberg. Borissov urged the commission to “take urgent measures” to prevent Greece breaching parts of the EU Treaty. 

Greek farmers also drove tractors to border posts linking Greece with the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, Albania and Turkey, according to the Athens News Agency. The Greek government, which is under EU pressure to trim state spending to curb the bloc’s highest budget shortfall, called on farmers to hold talks in Athens on their complaints on Jan. 25 and 26. Last year’s protests prompted the previous government to provide a 500 million-euro support program. 

The Bulgarian and Romanian agriculture ministers also appealed to the commission to help end the roadblocks, the Bulgarian government’s press office said today.



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