Protesting Bulgarian Farmers Block Danube Bridge, Head for Sofia

Protesting Bulgarian Farmers Block Danube Bridge, Head for Sofia

Bulgarian grain producers from the northeastern cities of Ruse, Razgrad, Silistra and Turgovishte blocked the Danube bridge border crossing on Monday after putting their protest on pause during the weekend.

At noon, the bridge lane used for international traffic was blocked by some 100 farming machines and 50 grain producers. Traffic on the main road to Silistra was jammed too, the state-run Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) reported.

A national protest will be held in Sofia on Tuesday with a total of 170 farming machines expected to enter the capital. These include farming machinery which has been waiting for several days in Botevgrad, north-east of Sofia, as well as tractors heading to the capital from Plovdiv, Pazardjik, Ihtiman, Veliko Turnovo, Svishtov, Bourgas and Sliven.

The chairman of the National Association of Grain Producers in Bulgaria, Angel Voukodinov, told BTA that most machines would stop in the Alexander Nevsky Square, the nearby Dondukov boulevard and the square in front of the National Assembly building. The farmers are allowed to protest in Sofia until Thursday.

Voukodinov reiterated that the protest was prompted by the government's back-peddling on a financial agreement signed in late September, shortly before the October presidential and local elections, which has not been incorporated in the country's fiscal plans for next year. The 2012 state budget proposes 230 million levs ($158.1 million/117.6 million euro) less than the 570 million lev financial framework agreed for agriculture.


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