A strike is in progress in Bulgaria, sparked by the government’s refusal to prolong an import ban
Bulgarian grain producers protesting after the ban on Ukrainian agricultural imports was lifted © Borislav Troshev / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Bulgarian farmers have taken to the streets in protest, causing blockades at dozens of highways and border crossings on Monday. They are voicing their discontent with the government’s decision to lift the ban on Ukrainian grain imports.
The protest follows unsuccessful attempts to resolve the matter through negotiations with the government. Professional associations are actively participating in this widespread demonstration, with 26 joining the cause.
The protest is slated to continue with a mass rally in the capital, Sofia, scheduled for Tuesday. National authorities have called on participants to adhere to the law.
The farmers’ grievances stem from the government’s refusal to maintain the prohibition on Ukrainian grain in the domestic market. An EU-wide ban, initially imposed in May, expired the previous Friday.
🇧🇬🚜🪧 It has begun: #Protests of #Farmers blocked the main roads in #Bulgaria#ukrainiangrain ➡️ https://t.co/Hq3WqdtMAcpic.twitter.com/WkLZQuVf0m
— Novinite.com (@novinite_com) September 18, 2023
Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov’s comments ahead of the protests further fueled tensions. As farmer groups announced their plans, he characterized them as behaving “like terrorists” and stated, “I do not negotiate with terrorists” during a television appearance last Saturday.