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SYRIZA’s official newspaper sends Greek farmers to Bulgaria

02 February 2016 / 16:02:35  GRReporter
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Two days before the general strike announced by the workers' unions in the private and public sectors against the pension reform, the Greek farmers have set a five-day ultimatum to the government. They have called for the formation of a commission of representatives of all parliamentary forces to consider their demands from a zero base.

At the same time, farmers are intensifying their protests, making longer roadblocks across Greece and starting occupations of tax offices. They are not excluding the possibility of totally blocking the traffic on the Greek roads from Thursday onwards, if the government does not show a significant interest in their proposals. Farmers are calling for the draft law on pension reform to be withdrawn and for a discussion on their taxation and production costs.

Today the Tembi pass was closed at 10:00 am and according to the representatives of the participants in the blockade it will continue until 10:00 pm. The Athens - Thessaloniki highway is blocked in several places and the traffic is stopped at different time intervals, the minimum duration of which is 2 hours.

Serres farmers have blocked the Promachonas - Kulata border checkpoint for an indefinite period of time, allowing cars and buses to pass freely but not trucks. As a result, currently the lines of trucks on both sides of the border are 20 km long.

Last night there were quarrels in the region following the decision of the Bulgarian drivers and citizens not to allow the cars, buses and trucks arriving from Greece to enter the Bulgarian territory after 08:00 pm. The police forces deployed nearby the blockade intervened and prevented the tensions from escalating.

The Bulgarian Minister of Agriculture crossed the border by car yesterday and the Greek farmers presented their problems to her. In statements during the morning broadcast on Skai TV a representative of the coordinating committee of the blockade near Promachonas said that many of his colleagues had expressed their spontaneous desire to move to Bulgaria, where tax burdens and production costs are low. When the economic reporter participating in the panel pointed out that the European subsidies for farmers are almost nonexistent in Bulgaria and in all cases are much lower than in Greece, they became angry and his comment was, "Well, then go to Bulgaria."

Minutes later, a post appeared on the Twitter profile of the newspaper Avgi, the official newspaper of the ruling SYRIZA party, reading, "Do farmers want to go to Bulgaria ... where there are no subsidies??"

It is worth noting that Evros farmers, who have blocked the Kipi checkpoint on the border with Turkey, are not allowing heavy trucks to pass. It is expected that in the coming hours farmers will close the border crossings in Kastanies on the Turkish border and Exochi on the border with Bulgaria.


Tags: SocietyProtests of farmersBlockades of roads and bordersBulgariaBorder crossings
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