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Greek – Bulgarian chamber of commerce: “tremendous losses for both sides due to the farmers’ blockages”

29 January 2010 / 14:01:06  GRReporter
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The Greek government has to take immediate measures to put the end of the farmers’ blockages, warns Panagiotis Koutsikos, chairman of the Greek-Bulgarian chamber of industry and commerce. In an opened letter to the Prime Minister George Papandreou he states that blocking of the Greek-Bulgarian border “creates enormous problems for the corporations members of the trade organization and as a result it additionally impedes the commercial relations between the two neighbor countries.”

In the letter it is pointed out that hundreds of trucks loaded with goods for and from Bulgaria are waiting for days on both sides of the border, which leads to “tremendous losses for both sides in a time of crisis.” Panagiois Koutsikos makes it clear that: “The Bulgarian and the international media are “flooding” every day the public with negative comments and critics towards the Greek government and its incapability of dealing with the problems of the farmers.” The chairman of the Bulgarian-Greek chamber of industry and commerce reminds that Greece is the largest investor in Bulgaria with a total amount of the invested capital of about 3,2 billion euro. The total size of the exchange of merchandize has reached 2,5 billion euro in 2008 and in 2009 it has decreased to the amount of 1,85 billion euro due to the widely spread economic crisis. Koutsikos is definite: “The economic losses suffered by both countries are immeasurable in the short and long term plans. The request of the members of the Chamber is to be found a responsible solution as soon as possible, without breaching the economic relations between the two countries.”  

Of great importance is the meeting of Katerina Batzeli, minister of the rural development with the representatives of the National coordination body of the farmers. The meeting will be held in Malgara and Alexandroupoli with the farm workers from Northern Greece and Thessaly. The main goal of the PASOK government according to the minister is to find “realistic solutions to the problems of the farm producers.” Batzeli underlines that this could be reached with the introduction of “institutional and structural changes, which will give a prospective and long term solutions to the problems of the farmers within the country”.

Meanwhile the protests of the farmers in Northern Greece and Thessaly continue with blockages on key road junctions. The farmers in the Serres municipality blocked this night the crossroad of the highway Egnatia and Kerdilia, however they left the frontier railway station at Promahonas opened. The farmers are gradually blocking the traffic on the highway Serres – Thessaloniki. Only the crossroad of Amfipol will remain opened. In Grevena municipality gathered 40 tractors which will stay at the crossroad of the Egnatia highway, while in Kozani the farmers have gathered at the Servias bridge, however without creating any problems for the traffic on the road.

Tags: blockages farmers Economy Greece Bulgaria
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