Saturday, 23 January 2010

Bulgaria Look To Retaliate Against Greek Farmers' Blockade

You can see exactly why the Bulgarians want to retaliate as it is costing business time, money and livelihoods in these recession hit times. No compensation last time round and it remains doubtful whether they will get it this time even with political movements for it. The Greeks have very good reasons for their protest but upsetting Bulgarians is not the best way to solve the problem, in fact now is likely to cause them more problems with this proposed retaliation.

Bulgarian lorries are threatening to have the Greek border shut in the days around the Easter holidays if Greek farmers do not lift the blockade "immediately", Dnevnik daily reported on January 21 2010.
Bulgarian transport companies were incurring losses estimated at more than 150 000 euro a day while the Bulgarian economy was being hit with more than three million euro a day in losses, according to reports in Bulgarian media.
"If the Greeks don't lift the blockade by January 22, we will inform Prime Minister Boiko Borissov that we will have the border shut at Easter," Angel Popov, head of the National Carriers Union (NCU) in Bulgaria was quoted as saying by Dnevnik.
NCU deputy chairperson Krassimir Lalov said that when Greek farmers staged similar protests in 2009, which included similar border blockades, losses incurred by Bulgarian companies surpassed 10 million euro, receiving no compensation.
"Our patience is wearing thin. If this carries on, we will stage a blockade of our own," Lalov said.
Greek farmers have blocked the border checkpoints for a fourth straight day in January 21, staunchly refusing to give in to Greek government pressure and Bulgarian demands for them to clear out.

According to Ta Nea, Greek prosecutors have threatened action against the farmers, but that has not weathered farmers' enthusiasm and the traffic between Bulgaria and Greece is still severely obstructed.
Beyond the border, major roads in Greece remain blocked, while overnight the Koulata–Promahon border crossing was opened for 30 minutes, allowing only lorries with time-sensitive foodstuffs to pass through.
Central Greece, Thessalia, and the roads leading to the northern Greek port town of Kavala are also shut for traffic.