Bulgarian shepherds eye Greek subsidies

Bulgarian farmers, disgruntled with their government’s refusal to approve the payment of European Union livestock subsidies, have decided to cross the border with their sheep, hoping for more favorable treatment in Greece. According to reports from Sofia, the farmers, in Bulgaria’s southeastern province bordering on Thrace, said they had resorted to this decision hoping to register their livestock on the other side of the border and receive subsidies from Greece. It was unclear how the crossing would be made, especially since the route chosen, the Kirtzali-Komotini road, has been closed for some time. The Bulgarian government has appeared reluctant to disburse subsidies after the European Commission warned that farmers might have to return any subsidies received if they were deemed to be state aid incompatible with EU regulations.