Bulgaria’s 18 members of the European Parliament, from all parties, issued a joint statement on January 18 2017, calling on the European Commission to act a planned border blockade by protesting Greek farmers.
The Bulgarian MEPs expressed sharp disagreement with the “passive position” taken by the European Commission during a lengthy border blockade by protesting Greeks in early 2016.
Greek farmers protesting against tax reforms in that country have threatened to blockade borders, including with Bulgaria, from January 23. They say that the protest will be open-ended, until their demands are met.
Bulgaria’s MEPs called on the European Commission, specifically EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and the deputy head and transport commissioner, to commit to action against the plans for the border blockade.
The letter called on the EC officials to go to Athens to hold talks with the Greek government to find a solution.
The MEPs noted that the February 2016 border blockade by the Greeks had caused damage to the Bulgarian economy of tens of millions of euro. At the time, in harsh winter conditions, more than 6000 lorry drivers were stranded for weeks.
The Bulgarian letter said that failure to ensure public order called into question the freedom of movement on major corridors and affected the interests of other EU member states.
The MEPs said that in the absence of an appropriate response by Greece, the European Commission should be ready with immediate sanctions against Greece.
The Commission has not yet publicly responded./IBNA