« Grain producers held a protest in Bulgaria because talks with the government didn’t work out. Their discontent was provoked by the government’s decision to lift the ban on grain imports from Ukraine.
« The protest is about saving Bulgarian agriculture. Many problems have accumulated over the years, especially at the moment with the war in Ukraine, we are witnessing dumping prices for agricultural products of all kinds », said Radoslav Hristov, Vice-president of the Grain Producers Association.
Footage filmed on Monday shows grain producers in Stara Zagora, central Bulgaria, blocking key roads as they demand that the ban on Ukrainian grain imports continue.
In certain areas like near Stara Zagora, Blagoevgrad, the police prevented protesters from setting up blockades. Instead, a compromise was reached, allowing a procession of tractors to take place. In Stara Zagora, dozens of farmers with their machines made it challenging to travel from the city to the Trakia highway.
During recent days of remote discussions, Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov referred to the grain producers as « terrorists » and labelled their protests as an attempt at blackmail.
« I think it is high time that our politicians take an example from Zelensky, who is trying to save the people and agriculture of his country at the expense of European agriculture », Hristov added.
The branch has five requests to the government – to continue the ban on the import of agricultural goods from Ukraine, extending it with a veto to fruits, vegetables, meat, milk, and honey. It is demanded that farmers be paid the full amount of compensation for losses due to the war in Ukraine by September 30 and that state aid for areas destroyed by natural disasters be paid immediately.
Today’s participants will join the national protest tomorrow in the capital. »