Bulgarian grain producers are blocking major roads in Sofia to pressure the government to change its position and ban imports of agricultural products from Ukraine.
Dozens of Bulgarian tractors blocked the main roads leading to Sofia to protest against the lifting of the embargo on imports of Ukrainian products decided by the Bulgarian Parliament. The movement was started by grain producers and was followed by all major agricultural branches, including horticulturists, beekeepers and winegrowers.
“Why does our country allow Turkish waste to enter our market in the form of grapes and lower my price when I don’t even have a subsidy?” explains Martin Penchev, winegrower.
Many farmers fear that the end of this ban will lead to unfair competition on the Bulgarian market. Livestock farmer Tsanko Tsanev adds: “We are protesting against the import of cereals, milk, fruits and vegetables. This is a protest of the entire agricultural sector of the country, not just the cereal producers.”
The road leading to the Danube, which marks the border with Romania, was also blocked by agricultural machinery. The protesters also ask the Prime Minister, who called the movement “terrorist”apologize.
“The current protest appears to be about issues that have already been resolved, or demands that cannot be resolved the way they want because deadlines cannot be met.” said Nikolai Denkov.
In addition to suspending imports from Ukraine, farmers are also demanding additional funding from the state. This Tuesday they are planning a large demonstration in front of the Bulgarian parliament in Sofia.