Bulgarian farmers have entered their third day of protests, with blockades disrupting key transportation routes across the country. The National Grains Association has stated that the protests will escalate each day until their demands are met, with a temporary halt planned for the upcoming weekend.
Demands primarily revolve around calls for a comprehensive review of proposed aid distribution and budget allocations, alongside firm legislative assurances to safeguard the agricultural sector’s sustainability. Talks between farmers and government officials, including Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov and Agriculture Minister Kiril Vatev, have been ongoing, focusing on a newly proposed memorandum of understanding.
The government has engaged in separate discussions with various branch organizations to address differing demands. Notably, negotiations on Friday yielded progress, with an agreement to provide BGN 150 million in support across multiple sectors, including meat, milk, fruits, vegetables, honey, rose oil, tobacco, and wine. However, the government remains steadfast that support will be directed solely towards loss-making grain producers.
In Blagoevgrad region, planned protests are set to disrupt traffic at strategic locations. Farmers intend to block the roundabout between the Struma highway and the E-79 main road, as well as the international road Sofia-Kulata near the city of Kresna, with no alternative routes available.
Meanwhile, solidarity actions are evident, with Greek farmers having previously blocked the Promakhon border crossing, prompting Bulgarian counterparts to follow suit at the Kulata border crossing. Similarly, farmers from the Yambol region are staging tractor blockades at exits to the “Trakia” highway, causing disruptions between Yambol and Sliven, along with closures on international roads.